We’ve all heard the cliché: “yoga means union”.
It can ring hollow when we learn that spirituality, like the unconscious, can be a broken space:

We can think we’re practicing to heal our wounds, even as we deepen them.

We can love teachers and methods that might be toxic to us.

We can easily confuse the sensations of transcendence and trauma.

We can feel like we’re loving people and saving the world while we’re really retrenching privileges of race, gender, and class, as well as ignoring the destruction that surrounds us.

The “union” I focus on in my practice, writing and training uses heart-centred skepticism to see these splits more clearly, so that they can be mended, with whatever it takes.

The “whatever it takes” part often means seeking both beyond my own limited resources and the conventional/patriarchal yoga literature to the writers and activists of marginalized groups, who are doing the most profound spiritual work today. I hope to support them and continue learning from them in my work.

Practice and All Is Coming

Inside Kelly Brogan’s Covid-Denying, Vax-Resistant Conspiracy Machine

Alt-health meets alt-right in the ‘conspirituality’ movement

On April 27, “holistic psychiatrist” Kelly Brogan, MD, a former Goop contributor whose latest book was blurbed by Marianne Williamson, sat in front of a webcam at the right hand of her husband Sayer Ji, the founder of the pseudoscience, anti-vax website GreenMedInfo.com. Awash in soft Florida light, the couple declared they would be deploying their marriage to power a new Covid-denialism media empire.

Survivors of an International Buddhist Cult Share Their Stories

An investigation into decades of abuse at Shambhala International

On April 4, 1987, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche lay dying in the old Halifax Infirmary. He was forty-seven. To the medical staff, Trungpa likely resembled any other patient admitted for palliative care. But, to the inner circle gathered around his bed and for tens of thousands of followers, he was a brilliant philosopher-king fading into sainthood. They believed that, through his reconstruction of “Shambhala”—the mythical Tibetan kingdom on which he’d modelled his New Age community, creating one of the most influential Buddhist organizations in the West—he had innovated a spiritual cure for a postmodern age, a series of precepts to help Westerners meditate their way out of apathy and egotism.

Shielded for Decades, A Yoga Leader’s Alleged Sexual Abuse Finally Comes Under Fire

In the yoga world’s latest #MeToo episode, activists are rising up against the spiritual institution that failed them

In January, I reported that one of the world’s most celebrated yoga empires was shaken to its core by a single Facebook post. Julie Salter, 63, had turned the polished branding of Sivananda yoga inside out by writing that its founding saint, Swami Vishnudevananda, had sexually and physically abused her during the 11 years she’d spent as his unpaid personal assistant, prior to his death in 1993. The organization has responded by launching an independent investigation, and individual centers are debating whether to remove the guru’s portrait from its altars around the world. But they’ve also posted reaffirmations of his wisdom on social media and are moving ahead with a project to release more of his archived sermons.

Yoga’s Culture of Sexual Abuse: Nine Women Tell Their Stories

As the #MeToo movement hits the yoga scene, women are coming forward on social media, forcing crucial questions into the spotlight that the entire industry must now confront: Is the yoga studio consistently the healing space it is advertised to be? Or has it engendered a culture in which spiritual surrender can be conflated with physical submission? Above all, practitioners must now ask how a culture with such a robust history of abuse has also been marketed as a path to bodily autonomy, spiritual awakening, and a cure-all for both mental and physical ailments.

Naada Yoga’s online education program presents

A Year of Ayurveda with Matthew Remski

Ayurveda offers an ancient language to help you become a poet of your internal experience. Its holistic practices of mindful, sensual awareness offer resilience against the inevitable changes of season, place, work, and identity. In this online education program, you’ll receive lifetime access to over 23 hrs of video instruction, downloadable pdfs and illustrations, 6 CEU’s recognized by the North American Yoga Alliance, and more.

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