Interview by Nancy Ellen Miller – Part 1

This video is one in a series of an interview conducted between writers, artists and yogis Nancy Ellen Miller and Matthew Remski conducted at The Boxcar Social in Toronto, Ontario.
“It was a relaxing pleasure to sit across from writer, artist, and yoga practitioner Nancy Miller and consider her excellent questions for a couple hours last Tuesday. I’m honoured/bashful to see the first small instalment posted this morning. She asked me about the role of social media in (my) yoga writing: joys, discontents, and possibilities. We could have gone on to discuss and celebrate many other bits of friction and conflict we’ve both learned from in the ethers, but this is a good start. Next part is about sources of writing inspiration: privileges, dreams, and wounds.”

WAWADIA: Injury, Touch, Abuse & Trauma in Modern Yoga

In many yoga spaces, teachers and students share the expectation that adjustments are a standard part of practice. But this aspect of modern yoga is marred by an uncomfortable history. At the dawn of the global movement in 1930s India, adjustments in key learning spaces such as the Mysore Palace merged with the somatics of corporal punishment. They conveyed assumptions about spiritualized pain and surrender, delivered through a pedagogy of unquestioned charisma and presumed consent. In combination, these factors have led to decades of blurred boundaries, sexualized touch, and general intrusion. If you’re a yoga teacher and you want to adjust people, this presentation will help you get square with this history first. It will help you think about how you will protect your students from it, especially in an unregulated industry. It will offer guidelines for moving forward in the creation of safe and student-driven yoga education.

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