Yoga to Help Fight Violence Against Women
November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Together we can take our yoga off our mats to create a culture that rejects violence as a way to deal with problems. Through our yoga practice we cultivate the resources to speak up against messages that say violence or mistreating women is okay.
In a culture that objectifies and commodifies women, women are dehumanized and treated as anonymous goods to be looked at, ogled, touched and used and once used discarded and replaced with a newer, younger form. Their human rights to be here, to feel, to be empowered, to love, to speak, to envision a future for themselves, to experience their own spirituality is often ignored.
In a culture that dehumanizes women and treats women as objects it becomes easier for women to be abused. In a world of advertising and media messages which creates on impossible standards for women in order to drive consumerism, women lose touch with who they are and an environment of justification is entrapment of abuse is sustained.
In the world of yoga, unfortunately many times these same media messages exist. The underlying narrative of yoga videos, yoga images, yoga in social media is that women must be beautiful, skinny, flawless, curvy, lifeless, and God forbid if you speak up or say anything meaningful! You should be a glossy figurine moving gracefully across a screen without any words. Remember an object has no personality, values, passions or dreams.
Yet for the past seven years here on Yoga with Melissa we have been focusing on something different. So many of you have told me you come here because we have a different message. We are real yoga for real people. We have real bodies, with real limitations. You have told me you appreciate my real personality. And, we are connecting with something deeper, our true nature and trying to overcome violence on a deeply personal level, starting with ourselves, our relationships with others and our place in the world.
Today we will practice with Bhuvaneshwari the Goddess of infinite space. Her motherly embrace will gather us into her vast, spacious womb. We will allow her to support us, hold us, and renew us, helping us to let go of anxiety and fear.
Bhuvaneshwari spaciousness swallows all that needs to be cleared. So take this time to offer her whatever you are holding onto. Whether you or somebody you love has been the victim of violence, Bhuvaneshwari will take whatever your burden, dissolve it and offer it back to you transformed.
Throughout our class today, we will allow Bhuvaneswari’s comfort to wrap around us like an invisible loving blanket creating a still, calm center. Bhuvaneshwari acts as a nonjudgmental, loving witness holding space with a subtle generosity.
Yoga Postures/Asanas: Reclined Bound Angle Pose or Supta Badha Konasana, Sleeping Pigeon or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Half Happy Baby Pose or Ardha Ananda Balasana , Square Breath, Goddess Victory Squat or Utkata Konasana, Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon Balancing Pose , Wide Kneed Child Pose or Balasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose, Shakti Mudra
Props Required: Bolster, Blocks, option strap
Weekly Yoga with Melissa #359 Photos of Yoga Pose