We need to do better. We need to try harder. We need to speak up.
As many of you know, Kindness Yoga just announced their plan to close. This comes on the heals of BIPOC and POC teachers speaking up about their mis-treatment from Kindness' management and leadership. This is heartbreaking. In no way is this treatment an example of practicing what we preach - as yoga teachers, as a yoga community and as a studio called kindness.
Let this message not be about me, but let it be an extension of the many voices who courageously spoke up this week, in regard to their mis-treatment. It's not right. My heart hurts to hear about your experiences - I trust you and I hear you.
As a straight, white female from the suburbs of Central Ohio, I know I have a lot of privilege. I don't know what it's like to be treated differently, based on skin color. I take complete ownership in not standing up and speaking out about the things that felt uncomfortable to address with Kindness leadership, during my 8 years teaching in the community.
I take ownership in staying with the business, when things weren't moving in the right direction. I stayed for the community and the students. I stayed because I didn't want to believe what was happening behind the curtain. So I showed up, gave my all to my students and tried to stay away from everything else. Now I know that my silence, though, gave consent. For that, I am so sorry.
As a yoga teacher, my commitment has been in holding space for others - to heal, to witness their truth, to connect to themselves. I commit to holding a safe space, always. I know this practice heals. I know this practice is life-long. This practice is about sitting with the uncomfortable. To find patience and breath in the moments in front of us. To let it all move through us - mind, body and heart. But never should this practice discriminate or cause harm onto others.
So where did this go wrong?
My opinion: the bones of Kindness Yoga started breaking five years ago, when the business was left in the hands of a theatre major and title-boasting marketer. Is this exposure the straw that broke the camel's back? Yes. And rightfully so. It was bound to happen.
As a collective community, we need to do better. We need to recognize the systemic oppression that lies within this culture and consciously make a change. The hope? From death, comes rebirth.
Are you familiar with the Line of Choice? It's a concept in relation to our beliefs and behaviors. If you're below the line, you're likely in a place of excuse, doing nothing, denying or feeling stuck. When above the line, you're likely in a place of hope, accountability, finding better ways and taking action.
The line of choice. You choose whether you exist in this situation below the line or above the line. I'm going to hop above the line... want to join me?