We are living through a time of unprecedented upheaval and suffering. How do we respond? Our “Yoga” response to suffering is often to meditate, pray, do our Yoga practices. We do our spiritual practice to see our own blind spots more clearly. We meditate to open our hearts fully to the suffering of others. And to heal our own wounds so we can truly be of service to others. And this is what we must do: As our spiritual practice ripens into deep compassion, it then necessarily leads us into enlightened action.
We dedicated a recent issue of our eMagazine to standing with the Black community and all communities of color in seeking equity, justice, respect, honor, and opportunity. In this issue, we began to look at what Yoga has to offer for wise and compassionate action during these challenging times.
When Integral Yoga founder, Swami Satchidananda was living and serving in Sri Lanka (then, Ceylon) in the 1950s, he began a movement to put an end to the dowry system there. When he came to the West in 1966, he began a decades-long advocacy to end enmity and discrimination in the name of religion, leading a call to celebrate diversity. We will hear from him with a message for today that he gave in December 1969, in which he encourages us to walk together, talk together, and live together in this spirit.
Integral Yoga began as largely a white sangha (spiritual community) surrounding a South Indian Yoga master. Since its founding in 1966, the organization has expanded to include centers and sangha in India, China, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and other parts of the world. Yet, most of our senior teachers and our American sangha still comprise a largely white community, who have not only had the comfort and means in life to study and practice Integral Yoga, but also of enjoying success, social and geographic mobility, justice, and open doors in society. We seek to understand our privilege more thoroughly, the ways we have been unaware of this freedom, and how this intrinsic privilege has often been at the expense of equity for and the well-being of others.
We dedicate ourselves to work and engage in self-reflection and action, to actively participate in education and become allies to work toward dismantling systemic injustice in ways that align with compassion and truth.
Join us for the ongoing “Responding to Racism Discussion Group,” hosted by the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco and meeting the fourth Sunday of each month. Register here.
In the meantime, the links below can provide you with resources for getting more involved locally and globally to enact the kind of change that these times call for.
VOTE.org: If you are not registered to vote please read this article here and go to this link so you can register to vote in any and all upcoming elections. You can also find absentee ballot info here: https://www.usa.gov/absentee-voting
Contact your local and state representatives and advocate for educating and legislating against police brutality: www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Shop and help support these Black-owned businesses:
Support and donate to these organizations:
Black Lives Matter
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Visions Collective
- The Movement for Black Lives
- Ten Reasons You Should Support BLM
- List of Bail Funds for Protestors Across the Country
- Emergency Release Fund (pre-trial release for LGBTQ people)
- National Bail Fund Directory
- Free Black Mamas
- Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Individual Memorial Funds
- Reclaim The Block
- Fair Fight
- Communities United for Police Reform
- 15 Things Your City Can do Right Now to End Police Brutality
- 26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets
- Follow @TheAppeal
Resources for Protestors
- Amnesty International Protestor Tool Kit
- ACLU – Know Your Rights
- Guidelines for Safe Protesting
- How To Protest Safely During A Pandemic
- Protecting Protestors Identity / Metadata
- Pro Bono Reps – Resistance Resource Hub
Advocacy, Self-education, Educating Others
- Anti-racism resources (for white people)
- Equal Justice Initiative
- No Going Back: A COVID-19 Cultural Strategy Activation Guide for Artists and Activists
Resources for Parents / Kids
- Talking about Coronavirus and Racial Discrimination
- Teaching about Identity-based Violence
- Resources for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence with Kids
- Discussing Race and Racism with Students
- Undoing Racism Resources for Covid-19
- COVID-19 Resources for Students
- Talking with Children After Racial Incidents
- The Children’s Community School, Social Justice Resources
- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup
Sign a Petition
- Justice for Tony McDade
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquet
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Thank you. Om Shanti.
Rev. Prem Anjali, Ph.D.
Editor, Integral Yoga Magazine