Yoga Is Not About Fixing Others [Podcast Episode 9]

In episode 9, Amber and Jivana talk about a recent article Jivana has featured with Yoga Journal talking about yoga’s response to disabilities and illness. Together they explore the belief that folks with disabilities or illness need to be fixed or cured, especially within yoga spaces. Jivana talks in depth about the connection between ableism and white supremacy, making it pervasive and easy to ignore by those who think they are unaffected. Jivana also shares more about the ways ableism is upheld in our wellness spaces by centering healing and curing people. This episode invites us all to investigate the stories we hold about our bodies, disabilities, illness, death, and yoga’s place aside those identities and life transitions. 

Listen to Episode 9

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Episode 9 Yoga Is Not About Fixing Others 

In this episode, Amber & Jivana discuss:

  • The difference between a medical model of disabilities and the cultural model of disabilities 
  • How yoga communities deal with disabilities and illness
  • The push from disabilities communities to embrace disabilities as an identity 
  • How the move from person first language to identity first language to is showing up in different communities
  • How the ableism in our society is the obstacle or limitation, not disabilities 
  • How white supremacy is the root of ableism 
  • The danger of focusing on the physical aspects of the practice and the importance of teaching the complete practice
  • How upholding “advanced asana” as “advanced yoga” upholds ableism
  • How positioning healing or curing as the goal of yoga upholds the belief that folks with disabilities or different bodies need to be fixed
  • How Jivana’s experience of witnessing how yoga can serve those who are dying
  • The importance of yoga to support our inevitable transition to death
  • How the role of yoga teachers is to support their inner journey, not to fix others

Today’s inquiry

Each week we’ll leave you with a powerful question. We encourage you to sit in inquiry with this question, write about it, discuss it with another community member on this path. Today, we invite you to reflect on this question:

Does the ability to perform advanced asana make you an “advanced yogi”?

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