Yoga Vita

Musings on Yoga, Life, and the Yoga Life

About

I started this blog to talk about my Ashtanga yoga practice. In it you will find my reflections and queries, rants and raves, and thoughts in general about my “yoga life.” It is a way for me to collect my thoughts and track my progress. It is also a way for me to dialogue with other practitioners, so I welcome your comments.

I began taking yoga classes in 1999, and my practice over the years has included Bikram method, Baptiste-style power yoga, Shiva Rea-influenced vinyasa yoga, and a smattering of other styles. Looking for a more complete system that could take me deeper into yoga, I finally stumbled upon traditional Ashtanga yoga as taught by Sri K. Patthabi Jois in 2005. Hallelujah. The experience has been transformative. In the same effort to deepen my practice, I completed the foundation level teachers’ training course at Yoga Thailand, which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in expanding his or her knowledge of yoga or in learning how to share the Primary series with others. So now I am a beginner again, albeit a devoted one, within the system of Ashtanga yoga.

A bit about me aside from yoga: I am a feminist, queer, anti-racist, kinda nerdy, nature-loving, city-dwelling young woman who tries to create her life with intention. I split my time between wide-eyed idealism and hardened cynicism and I’m currently trying to reconcile the two. I like nice wine and eat too many avocados. In the Meyers-Briggs type system, I’m dead tied between INFP and INTP, but I like to think I’m an INTP because it sounds smarter, even though deep in my heart, I know I’m a touchy-feely INFP. I love trains, bike touring, backpacking and traveling in general.

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi. I googled “yoga and racism” and the first hit was your blog about the comment your yoga teacher made regarding “crack addicts”.

    I can’t write too much right now but I just want to say that I have been practicing yoga for twenty years and am planning to become a teacher. But I also have been doing radical/liberation/revolution work for my entire life–43 years and counting. I was born and raised in NYC’s Spanish Harlem and my mom was a passionate community activist.

    I love yoga to death but I can not stand the vast majority of the community. I am fiercely dedicated to making sure those who do yoga understand that “finding ones inner peace” is not not not un-related to oppression. God am I pissed about this New Age BS that saturates this society.

    I am really looking forward to communicating with you because I need to develop connections with other yogis who are also clear about issues such as racism. Thanks for writing your blog and I am going to read more of it.

    sincerely,
    jesse m

  2. Thanks Jesse. I look forward to hearing more from you. I was very surprised to see that on a google search of “yoga racism,” I came up second! There really does need to be more of a discussion on the intersections of yoga, spirituality, and oppression. Right now it is practically non-existent. But I’m glad keyed-in people like you are out there!

  3. hey, cara, I’m not sure I invited you to my blog. If you want to read, just email me at laksmivimalananda at yahoo dot com

  4. Cara,

    Hey. Gee…its been a while since I last wrote to you. I sent you a post back in September…appreciating the fact that you are thinking and writing about politics and yoga..both of them..which is…unfortunately…rare.

    Anyway, I was living in MA back then…now I am writing to you from Hawaii…long story…came here to do nothing but yoga on the beach…and boy did I get to do that.

    I am moving back to the Mainland in two weeks…excited to see old friends.

    Anyway, I just spent the past week writing dozens and dozens of posts for a forum…its organized around Erich Schifmans community in Southern CA…he wrote a great yoga book called Movement Into Stillness.

    After many many hours spent…trying to deal with yogis who see no racism anywhere or none in the yoga world…or whatever…I carved out this one room…in the forum…for a discussion on yoga and its relationship to social justice efforts.

    I have no idea if more then two folks will participate…most are kind of out there in terms of dealing with social justice…but the folks that are into it…are totally cool.

    Anyway, my email is heatsourcex@yahoo.com(its ok for it to be public…I trust no psychotics are gona start emailing me)
    Write to me if you want.
    If you want to check out the website I am talking about it is at yuku.com…look for yoga…in the search box…Movement Into Stillness…

    I have not read all of your blog…I am using a library computer and time is limited…but so far there is a lot of really neat stuff to check out.

    Hope to hear from you

    namaste,
    Jesse Mentken

  5. Hey there —

    I gather this blog is retired (or soon to be) but I wanted to take this chance to register my profound gratitude for its existence.

    As a white anti-racist, radical queer with super conflicted feelings about yoga and racism and cultural appropriation, it’s amazing to step into the conversations around this that have already taken place. I’m not sure how to fit a yoga practice into my newly/ever-evolving life of political analysis on racism, colonization and capitalism, or if it will in the end (or in this moment) fit at all. But I hope I can make it work, I hope I can build strength and use it for good (revolution); if I do, I suspect that your writings here will be immensely helpful.

    So thanks!

  6. Hi Cara,

    I found your blog today as I was perusing the internet looking for articles/blogs/etc about people who practice yoga and are politically active. I’m glad to know you’re blog exists and will definitely keep reading it!

    As a queer woman of color who has a regular yoga practice I am in conversation with myself and others in my community about what it means to practice yoga with a social justice lens.

    Thanks,
    jenn

  7. Hi
    Is there a way to contact you by email or IM?
    I would like to ask you few questions. You can reply me to my email (if you hava a MSN you can add me with this email).
    Thank you.

  8. I’m so glad to know you’re blog exists and will definitely keep reading it!
    go ahead..

  9. Is this blog still running ? If so I may wish to discuss the racism & prejudice that does exist in the Yoga communities 🙂

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