Happy 4th of July!
As we approach our nation's birthday, I am sure there are many of us that are feeling anger, sadness, loss...For many people, the last several months have been a roller coaster of emotions with mass shootings across our nation, a sense of the political system failing us, and constitutional rights uncertain, or taken away. We also may be asking ourselves, "Where do we go from here?" as we celebrate the birth of this country we call home.
We may not agree across political lines, or feel as if our neighbors understand: who we are, what we believe in and why we believe the way we do, but this country does not so cleanly split between red and blue. This country, this state, this community, is purple. Therefore we may not LIKE where our country is headed regardless of our belief system, political affiliations and/or moral compass, but I think it is indisputably accurate to say that we all CARE where our country is headed.
image from @decolonialatlas (follow on instagram)
We as yoga practitioners can do personal work around this through Ahimsa and Satya. Non violence and Truth. These are the first two limbs of the 8 limbs of Yoga, and are considered to be essential in one's journey with Yoga. How do we bring these teachings into our everyday world? This is where the personal work begins. Susanna Barkataki, a yoga teacher with Indian roots, believes in inclusivity and is an advocate for yoga culture. She says, "As a yoga practitioner, we commit to practicing Ahimsa for ourselves, and also for others. What it means to be a yoga practitioner is to devote one's sovereign life to ensuring others have the ability to do the same." What does this mean to you? What does it look like? Sound like? Feel like? This is personal work and doesn't need to be shared with anyone, the important thing is that you are doing it.
In the coming weeks, months and years, many of us may continue to travel down this path of loss and sadness. Now is not the time for spiritual bypassing, or toxic positivity. Now is not the time to tell people to "Be Positive"...or have "Good Vibes". Now is the time for us to engage in social justice and radical love and compassion for ourselves, and others, regardless of whether we agree or not. But how?
This is not easy, and may require some serious unlearning, or put us in a position of emotional, and spiritual discomfort, but believe me when I say to you that discomfort is a sign that you are learning and stretching. Education is elevation.
In our resource section this month, we are sharing a free course put on by Susanna entitled "Love in Action: The Ahimsa Masterclass". Alyssa will be doing it and always loves to talk about what she's learning! Wanna talk about it? Let her know!
“There is no yoga without justice. There is no peace without yoga. No justice, no peace.”
- Susanna Barkataki, Embrace Yoga’s Roots
Member-Voted Donations for June
For PRIDE Month, we wanted to find non-profits that impact and support the beautiful and vibrant LGBTQ2+A folx in this community and state! Therefore we are pleased to present the recipient of this month's MDI:
Montana PRIDE Foundation
THANK YOU members for showing up and allowing us to continue with our mission to support organizations in need. The recipient is selected through democratic process. Every time a member comes to practice, they have the opportunity to vote.
A reminder that at the moment, The Yoga Cooperative donates $50 per month to the Member Driven Intention. This amount will increase once we have enough supporting members! 10% of each membership will be donated to our MDI. Every time a member comes to class, they have the opportunity to vote for a Member Driven Intention (MDI).
Announcements and What’s New at the Coop
July Member Driven Intention Choices
To the Veterans that practice in our yoga studio...
To the Veterans in our families, and...
To the Veterans next door ...
THANK YOU (and YOUR FAMILIES) FOR YOUR SACRIFICES AND SERVICE
We have two choices for supporting our vets who have given so much to this country and are fighting, or have fought, to protect our constitution and this great experiment that is Democracy.
The Veterans Yoga Project
Veterans Yoga Project is on a mission to support recovery and resilience among veterans, military families, and communities.
Montana Veterans Fund
The Montana Veterans Fund is an endowed fund at the Montana Community Foundation established to support continued education, employment support, and mental health resources for veterans in Montana.
NEW CLASS OFFERING
LGBTQ+ Friendly Class starting in July
This monthly class will be offered the first Wednesday evening of each month, by our very own Holly, who is passionate about creating a supportive, gender neutral/affirming space for those that identify with the LGBTQ2+ community. We strive to create an inclusive environment for all, but sometimes it feels better and safer to be surrounded by those you identify with. All of Holly's classes use gender neutral language and all classes at the Yoga Cooperative strive to be inclusive and safe. This monthly event is for those who identify as part of the LBGTQ2+ community, and will aim to build a safe space to practice together. All classes will be donation based.
JULY WORKSHOP and EVENTS
Meet The Yoga Coop Crew!
Erica, Yoga Crew since February 2022
What's your advice for new yoga students?
Try focusing how you feel (without judgement) during and after a pose. Yoga has many layers and is a vehicle for a lot of different forms of self discovery and connection.
What are you most proud of relating to your yoga practice?
As a recovering perfectionist, I'm proud of giving myself a safe space to show up and meet myself just as I am, again and again.
Do prefer to practice yoga inside or outside?
Inside! I've carved out a small sacred space in my home for my personal practice. I love the ritual of it.
Susanna Barkataki is apowerhouse in the world of inclusive and diverse yoga. As a person of Indian heritage, she is passionate about this practice and how to bridge the gap between yoga as exercise and yoga as a lifestyle.
Here is a blog post of Susanna's unpacking Ahimsa: what it is, what it isn't, and how we can integrate this essential piece of Yoga into our everyday lives. At the end of this blog post is a link to sign up for Susanna's Ahimsa Masterclass. If you are interested in learning more about Ahmisa, this is a great resource to take advantage of! Sign up for her newsletter and she will send you the information.
Looking for a book to read this summer? See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur is "a practical guide to changing the world, a synthesis of wisdom, a chronicle of personal and communal history