Unveiling & envisioning:
Decolonising our body & mind.
Autumn yoga retreat
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." - Rumi
Saturday, 23 & Sunday 24th October 2021 10am – 4.00 pm BST
Yoga Torquay, The Studio Park Lane, Torquay, TQ1 2AU
8 spaces available- all welcome
We can craft genuine intentions for how we use yoga and for what purpose but in reality many yoga teachers feel trapped: engulfed by the yoga industrial complex or overwhelmed by social justice movements that unwittingly generate power through guilt.
Genuine change does not need to be forced, it begins with the emotional will to see into our hearts and be in the liminal spaces of our soul. We listen deeply and trust the emergence that emanates from seeds of self understanding that in time, fruit a transformation. This intimate process happens through embodied inquiry, non defensive awareness and fearless expression. Here are the collective brave spaces we can hold to dive deeply within.
Day 1. Unveiling
Instead of looking for what is wrong or trying to fix injustices with rational minds and do's and dont's, lets understand the barriers that we put within ourselves to guard against change. Lets face the "shoulds", the guilt or shame and over compensating dynamics, understanding how they might be socialised into us as scripts/ biases or carried down as ancestral burdens and pressures. This is self revealing. On this day, we focus on resourcing our bodies (sattvic embodiment) to help us see clearly.
Day 2. Envisioning
To become unstuck, we can feel deeply, dream, spiral, shift, plunge, or make small nudges at becoming the change we wish to see in the world. lets tap into the wisdom of our heart and soul and align closer to inner truths, staying curious, open and cultivating radical compassion. On this day we elicit rasa (sentiment of experience) to manifest our own course of action.
These workshops are highly experiential and responsive to the needs of participants in the group.
I facilitate within a Sufi yoga therapeutic framework (unity in being) and an embodied, relational way supporting connection to head (thinking), heart (feeling) and belly (knowing). Through out the weekend we will engage with body mapping, creativity, dialogue, self-touch, meditation, visualisation, breath- heart work, asanas and movement
Are we decolonising yoga?
Yoga philosophies have never intrinsically dealt with social justice harms and processes. They describes overarching psycho-spiritual ethics that guide people to live in this world (but not be of this world). Historically in India, visionaries and activists have actually criticised yogi's and religious influencers, evolving yoga practices and shifting attitudes to push back against hierarchies and hypocrisy. Yoga has always been co-opted by elites or God's middle men. The same happens today. We face fierce commodification, white washing and ethno-nationalist erasure.
So do we decolonise yoga per se? No, rather we decolonise ourselves so that we can stay out of the mess and be conscious of how we use and share our yoga .
There is also no standard way to decolonise yoga, it depends on you.
Do you understand how historically produced inequalities continue to shape our society? How it impacts us in our personal and professional lives? Do you know enough about the rich diversity and inter-fluidity of yogic traditions, so that you can take an unbiased and open perspective?
The way to approach justice issues and respond to them depends on becoming educated about the colonial violence and harm of the past: the appropriation, loot, plunder, epistemicide, dispossession and gender violence. Look into the work of Black feminists, liberation psychologists and radical thinkers who critically reveal the corruption and injustice of our time.
Then do the inner work to understand our story and part in this picture. Reversing the continuation of any trauma and harm, starts with healing ourselves.
Previous feedback from earlier courses.
"What struck me most was the way you shared your knowledge, experience and insight in such a heartfelt and caring way. While some of the material was familiar to me, the way you presented it and encouraged us to engage with it was a whole new approach - and a very welcome one at that. All too often I've found at least, academically, experientially, the history and philosophy of the practice is approached in a heavily cerebral way but you helped me to dive into the core of what and how we are human, how we can be with ourselves and for each other. It felt like a process of recovery, remembering and reverence, for the practice of yoga as much as for me. “ Aliya Mughal, Freelance Writer, Communications Specialist, Yoga Facilitator in Bristol.
"Sophia is an authentic facilitator who really shows her own vulnerability allowing everyone to go just as deep into their own journeys and emotions. She approached such complex questions with a personal approach that really touched our experience. I feel more human and more hopeful." Natalie, Care Giver
"Thanks very much for the course which I found very enjoyable and interesting. I liked the way you facilitated it and made us all feel we could talk openly and with respect and consideration."- feedback from Amanda Stone Nash, psychotherapist based in Wales.
"I dipped my feet in the waters of a subject that I have never been taught before or had very little knowledge about. I now feel that I can start to take my new awareness into my current work as a full time yoga teacher and I have a clearer understanding of my own vulnerabilities and power. The online space was both safe and welcoming and I looked forward to the group every week. I really felt like I learnt something valuable." - from Jo, Yoga teacher based in Wales.
Sunday 25th of November 2018
Three pools permaculture farm, Abergavenny, Wales.
February 2019 at 10:00–17:00, Cardiff
A workshop at the 2018 congress of The European Association for Body Psychotherapy, Berlin, 8th of September 2018
Me too Silence no more: a day long series of workshops for BAME Women in London 29th April 2018
“Everybody tells a story”
A somatic, trauma informed approach to storytelling for therapeutic work. Workshop at George Ewart Evans centre for storytelling’s symposium. 7th April 2018.
“Traumatic stress and the embodiment of micro-aggressions”
Requested workshop for a group of counsellors in Cardiff November, 2017.
Requested workshop for a group of psychotherapists, yoga teachers and psychologists, East London, September 2015.
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