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Workshop Weekend with special guest Michelle C. Johnson

As yoga teachers or students studying to hold space for others and teach the sacred practice of yoga, we have a responsibility to understand how to bring the larger cultural context into our teaching and practice. Many are wondering how to respond to the collective trauma caused by Covid-19, white supremacy and racism and all forms of superiority and oppression. Many are wondering how to make space for their grief and liberation amid social isolation and distancing. Dominant culture wants us to continue to disassociate from ourselves and others, divide and conquer, maintain the status quo and turn away from heartbreak we may be feeling at this time. While we have questions about how to respond and be in this moment, I believe that we must respond with steadfastness and courageous hearts to the urgent concerns of this time. Spiritual practice invites us to lean into discomfort and truth, move through and with our emotions and grief, better understand the nature and causes of suffering and transform in service of the collective good. Spiritual practice including meditation and yoga, allow us to work with sensation, toxic thought patterns, grief, cultural conditioning, overwhelm, and anxiety through mindfulness and thoughtful care.

Skill in Action is a workshop designed to explore systems of power and oppression, the intersection of social justice and yoga, external and internalized patterns of oppression, power and privilege, and how we can respond to the current cultural and political challenges through practices of self-study, movement, pranayama, contemplation and collective action. Through these teachings you will learn more about both how to create more inclusive spaces for healing and teaching as well as how to infuse your teachings with content centered on social justice. Throughout our time together we will practice asana (postures), meditation, mindfulness, pranayama (breathing), holding space together and mantra work to sharpen our goals and visions for our work to change the world.

Some of what will be explored:
Embodied practice and asana
Creating culture: Agreements and assumptions
Social location
Privilege, Power and Oppression
Racism, Internalizations and intersectionality
Cultural Trauma and Collective Grief
Spiritual Bypassing and Cultural Appropriation
Dharma and Duty to intervene, disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression
Meeting the Political and Cultural Moment with Spiritual Practice
Infusing Your Teaching with Social Justice Principles

Wear comfortable clothing, have a journal and any other sacred objects nearby.

Special Teachers Practicum Session for 300-hour YTTs only
Members of the SYA 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training have a bonus opportunity to learn from Michelle Johnson in an added Practicum session. Over the course of 2 hours, you will learn how to use embodied practices, including asana and meditation, to create inclusive spaces for healing and teaching, and practice infusing your teachings with content centered on social justice. You must have attended a prior Skill in Action workshop with Michelle and be enrolled in the SYA 300-hour Teacher Training in order to participate in this practicum.

Friday, October 15th, 2:30-5:30 pm
Saturday, October 16th, 8:00-11:00 am & 12:00-2:00 pm
Sunday, October 17th, 8:00-11:00 am & 12:00-2:00 pm
+ Teachers Practicum (for SYA 300hr YTT enrollees only)*: Thursday, October 28, 3:30-5:30 pm

Credit Hours: 13.0
+2.0 Teachers Practicum hours for 300hr YTTs*

General Public = $260 early bird (through Sept 30) // $325 full price
300hr YTTs* = $345 early bird (through Sept 30) // $420 full price

*Important note for SYA 300-hour YTT enrollees only:
Your private opening & closing circles (+2.0 hours) will be scheduled in addition to these listed hours.
You will be automatically enrolled in the additional Teachers Practicum session with Michelle on Thurs, Oct 28, 3:30-5:30 pm PT. You will receive a separate Zoom link for the event.

Friday through Sunday sessions of this course are open to anyone, qualify for Continuing Education Credits through Yoga Alliance, and are part of our 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training program. If you are taking this workshop toward your advanced teaching certification, please register for the 300-hour program in advance.

Please plan carefully: Refunds of 90% are granted up to 5 days prior to the class start; after which, no refunds are given.


About the instructor: Michelle C. Johnson

Michelle C. JohnsonMichelle C. Johnson is an author, yoga teacher, social justice activist, licensed clinical social worker and Dismantling Racism trainer. She approaches her life and work from a place of empowerment, embodiment, and integration. With a deep understanding of trauma and the impact that it has on the mind, body, spirit and heart, much of her work focuses on helping people better understand how power and privilege operate in their life. She explores how privilege, power and oppression affects the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and energy body.

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