Cultural Awareness for Yoga
I am proud of my Aboriginal heritage I am a Wiradjuri woman from country NSW a little town called Parkes. Our Aboriginality was not embraced in the past, which is why I’m so passionate about keeping this beautiful culture alive, which is why I have created a cultural awareness course for yoga.
As a yoga teacher for the last 8 years whilst discovering more about my aboriginal heritage, I was finding so many synchronicities in these ancient cultures. Every-time we open a yoga class we are holding ceremony connecting with breath and mother earth, to connect with the long lineage of culture and ceremony beneath our feet makes each class more meaningful and potent.
From a modern day perspective we look at the world as if it is simplistic but through a complex lens, from an Aboriginal perspective we look at the world as if it is complex but through a simplistic lens.
"The basic protocols of Aboriginal society,like most societies,include respecting and hearing all points of view in a yarn. Narcissists demand this right, then refuse to allow other points of view on the grounds that any other opinion somehow infringes their freedom of speech or is offensive. They destroy the basic social contracts of reciprocity (which allow people to build a reputation of generosity based on sharing to ensure ongoing connectedness and support), shattering these frameworks of harmony with a few words of nasty gossip. They apply double standards and break down systems of give and take until every member of a social group becomes isolated, lost in a Darwinian struggle for power and dwindling resources that destroys everything. Then they move on to another place, another group. Feel free to extrapolate this pattern globally and historically."
An excerpt from 'Sandtalk' by Tyson Yunkaporta
I use this book in the course it is so full of knowledge and the bridging of the old and modern ways.
Every week I teach two Connection to Country Yoga classes
Monday 9:30am South Bondi Platform
Saturday 7:30am Sukha Mukha at Bondi Meditation Centre
WHAT IS 'CONNECTION TO COUNTRY' VINYASA FLOW?
A unique class interweaving vinyasa yoga flow with Aboriginal culture, connecting with these powerful and ancient philosophies. When people talk about country it is spoken of like a person: we speak to country, we sing to country, we worry about country, and we long for country.
‘Land is of great significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - but the connection we feel to country can be a difficult concept for non-Indigenous people to grasp. The living environment goes beyond physical elements and is fundamental to our identity. For First Australians, “country” encompasses an interdependent relationship between an individual and their ancestral lands and seas. This reciprocal relationship between the land and people is sustained by the environment and cultural knowledge. The land is the mother and we are of the land; we do not own the land rather the land owns us. The land is our food, our culture, our spirit and our identity.’ Dennis Foley, a Gai-mariagal and Wiradjuri man, and Fulbright scholar.
This special and unique training deigned by Eve White and Katie Rose opens up two areas for investigation:
1) The Australian yoga teacher’s relationship to ‘Country’ and how we may all be more respectful of Indigenous Australia’s roots in our classes and offerings. 2) The ongoing conversation about cultural appropriation in yoga in regard to Indian culture and yoga’s ‘roots’ in Eastern tradition.
Our intention in offering this training is to:
1) Give you tools as a teacher to share in a more culturally sensitive way and educate others so the ripple effect of change can be felt. 2) Help you dig into your own prejudice, trauma and ancestry to teach from more embodiment and authenticity regardless of your cultural heritage. 3) Create safe spaces for collective healing both during the training and as a legacy of it.