My heart is a garden within these flames

My heart is a garden within these flames

An online immersion & exploration into Sufi Yoga.

Saturday March 27th 2021

4 p.m -8.30 p.m. GMT with 1 hour break. 

I will be holding space for a sensitive and decolonial exploration of Indian Sufi yoga; based on a personal rekindling of ancestral teachings, restoration of devotional somatic practice, re- working patriarchal and hierarchal interpretations and reflecting on socio-political issues.

Sufi yoga traditions are one of the most erased and neglected lineages in yoga today. They challenge our homogenised narrative, White- orientalist prejudices and come under fire from orthodoxies, Islamic fundamentalism and hindutva. Clearly quite radical, no reference is made to the Indo-Muslim heritage in yoga teacher trainings, at conferences or on social media. Despite this omission, I believe the tradition has a lot to offer in making yogic psycho-spiritual philosophy accessible.

Indian Sufi yoga is rich, complex and non- denominational. Historically situated in indigenous, social movements that expounded an embodiment of love and surrender. It places emphasis on direct experience, finding truth where you find it, as well as the necessity to balance the elements within our human microcosm to protect against fragmentation (dissociation).

A crucial theme in Indian Sufi yoga is the articulation that our embodiment burns us, we experience suffering due to the transient and diverse nature of life. To prevent these flames from scorching us, an ‘inner garden’ is cultivated where anger turns to tenderness and pain to strength. The only flame present is the steadfast ignition of longing for the Beloved; fuel for transformation to a peaceful state of oneness in being.


Outline for the workshop.

4p.m- 4.30 p.m check in and situating ourselves

4.30 p.m-6 p.m Embodied alchemy practice.

I will share an interoceptive and proprioceptive practice with awareness of body sensations, signals and energy zones. The emphasis is on sattvic movement to integrate polarities, foster well -being, and reduce adrenaline-cortisol flames (or amygdala induced fight and flight).

This sharing is based on 20 years of critically evaluating asana to restore forgotten feminine- devotional elements through a weaving in of kindred somatic practices such as Indian dance, Thai yoga massage and Ayurvedic body work.

We finish this sequence with an exploration of chakrasana from the bahr al hayat

(The ocean of life, a Persian, Sufi text on hatha yoga) and contrast it to the modern day version which stems from a colonial interpretation of European gymnastics.

1 hour break

 7 p.m.- 7.30 p.m. After the break there will be a presentation on background features of Indian Sufi yoga; the thwarting of social, gender and caste tyrannies, the expression in vernacular, poetic forms and how Hindus and Muslims came together when they did not necessarily see themselves through a politics of religious identity. 


7.30 p.m. Open discussion for participants to reflect on why a representation of the ‘Islamic’ contribution to yoga matters, what it means for inclusion, anti-blackness, Islamophobia as well as intercommunal tension and horizontal racism within the desi/South Asian community.  

Price:    £15-50  Solidarity sliding scale.

Spaces are limited to 9 participants.







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