My Yoga Journal Feature: Why it Doesn't "Break It Down"

It always jabs right in the most sensitive places when my work feels misrepresented and glamourized with no real communication of what it is I have developed over the last six years. The practitioner in the online feature of Breakti is doing eka pada koundinyasana I. That's great. It relates to what I've taught but it isn't the same. Further, this pretty yoga chick is a complete stranger to me. I don't know who she is and she doesn't know what Breakti is. Ok, fine. 

When YJ reached out to me months ago about this article, I wrote probably three pages worth of answers and descriptions. I knew they wouldn't include nearly all, but they included basically nothing that I wrote and added the words "headspins" and "windmills" to their two or three lines of coverage, which certainly are major power moves in breakin, but have nothing to do with the practice I teach. It makes it appear I am teaching these things... I am doing nothing of the sort.

As I said before, my hope is that perhaps other teachers who are doing this work and have trained with me will get some recognition through this. Me? I will still teach what I teach. I love teaching upside down work. I also love teaching other things. Many, many other things.

Breakti gets the press. It always has. I can chalk that up to a lot of things... Perhaps it is our fascination yet stigmatization of anything related to hip hop or street culture. Or maybe it's the "cool" sound of words like headspin in juxtaposition to a mindful body practice like yoga. I could chalk it up to the fact that my white (or this chick's white) skin keeps people comfortably pretending to "be down" while they simultaneously ignore the many inconsistencies and indignities dealt to minorities on the daily. 

I don't know. I try to be grateful. But in the end I get really bogged down by how people approach this and what comes out of the media machine when it gets a hold of this work. My goal is to guide my students away from their own self-limiting beliefs. Breakti is one great way to do that. So is meditation. So is doing practice with ropes on a wall or a chair. So is rock climbing. So is volunteering at a soup ktichen or a refugee center. So is showing up for people and being compassionate even and especially to those you disagree with. 

So thank you Yoga Journal! Thanks for highlighting what I am not. I do appreciate the press, but what you depict (especially in the online version) has nothing to do with this work. BUT! it does make me feel like working even harder to share what is in my heart and help people find freedom in their bodies and minds. Thank you!

If you want to see the online write up - please go here.

The print version at least shows me doing the "freeze" they mention in the write-up. See it below.