Updated: Jun 10
Dear White Wellness Community Members you have not arrived. Every time you see me, you assume that my consciousness is lower than yours. You assume that I need to elevate in order to be freer. You assume that you are an addition to my life. You unmindfully assume that you have made my Black life better because of your white arrival. Think about those sentences you say to yourself after we go out for coffee, after we text. Notice how your thoughts celebrate you for having a Black person in your life that you are nice to. The pathology rests in the practice of racism, not our response to it.
“They’re my friend!” You declare with liberal gust at a light and love ceremony sound bath for all over the world as you look in the eyes of white privilege all around you; where are the indigenous people of the land your retreat center is on? Yes, we know, it’s your way of giving back. Our hands may be together in namasté and you think because your mats next to mine, I’m giving you a high five. That is not an available option.
Why, when racism comes up you wanna start talking about higher states of consciousness?
It’s energy. Yes. I’m aware. It’s beyond race. You always felt like you had so much to teach me when we met. That is your whiteness and privilege. Funny how you missed the whole point that I am your teacher, but you keep talking and I keep telling you I can’t breathe and all you say is breathe into my hand and I say I can’t feel it, there is a knee in my neck. And you say “yeah, that’s it”, give me a mild hands-on adjustment, swaying my dead weight legs from side to side and then walk away.
Why are you still surprised and in awe about how I speak Sanskrit, or English for that matter. How many of your other Black friends, that you can you count on one hand, do you keep talking about being so fucking amazing, thinking that you're putting positive energy out in the world, so you feel good and keep that energy flowing. Nice. I’m breathing into that and it smells like tumeric oil. No, that was not the sound of the bells, that was Eric Garner gasping for air.
Of all my alleged white friends only one offered a decent written correspondence since the murder of our brother George Floyd. If the word decent was not in my reply, then it wasn’t yours. During the resistance against the active genocide against Blacks in America, you said what? That feels decent to you? You breathe into what you said and it feels loving and kind? Asking for a friend. Is it that you don’t know what you say? Or are you not sure you truly feel what you say? Feels more like the latter, if I’m honest. Oh, and if the description as genocide, feels melodratic to you, we need to change the description of this practice. The difficulty of it does not excuse you from rising to the occasion, that’s your privilege you're coming up against, that’s the block and it’s the block every damn time. You reached out because you didn’t want me to think you are racist. You sent that bullshit because you wanted to feel less uncomfortable about being racist. Had you wanted a different response you would have magnetized a different response. Right? You wanted to feel good about yourself, instead of seeing the truth about yourself. It is impossible for you not to be racist unless you are present with racism at each moment of every day. Said another way, if you go to sleep at night with the support of a yoga Nidra or alternate nostril breathing and you can not identify one moment in your green juice drinking day, a minimum of 1 example of being biased, bigoted, or racist, you did not do the work that day. Yes, we know it’s all energy and low vibration, and what I am saying is, you will not dwell in the 5th dimension or otherwise until you come to terms with the fact that you are racist, here. It is in your samskara. No sage or palo will wipe it clean. There is no crystal for this. There is no more sacred space for your neutrality and silence. I can’t call it bias, because that’s not what you are. You are racist. And your not wanting to be racist doesn’t change that you are. You have come out of a pigeon pose feeling open and connected and we are in a bind, not of our own making and it's causing major constriction and you send light and love. If you wouldn't do that in a live class in your well-lit studio why are you doing it now? In order to help anyone you have to move, and you want us to trust that now is when you wanna be still and assimilate and take it all in? Are you serious? So now you can’t live your life the way you teach your classes?
We know that in English, savasana translates to corpse pose. I always wondered if there's a reason it's not common practice to utter the English translation and sit with that. I wonder if it’s rooted in our fear. Is the wellness community afraid to look at themselves as racist the same way we choose not to say corpse pose? Maybe we should spend some time unpacking what that really means, hmmm... it may run longer than the playlist you got, by download.
We know you sit in gratitude that you don’t know those other Black people, but “* insert the Black tribe members name here * “*is amazing”!! Why do you say “my” when talking about all your Black and Brown friends? That doesn’t seem weird to you? And thank you for telling them as often as you can that you think they are amazing. They do need to hear it. It is your part.
I don’t see color- has been transmuted to, we all have to share Earth mothers abundance, and still your wellness world, full of psychic fairs and tarot reads is mostly white. But you have done well, with a high vibration heart chakra, you manifested a bag, made in India so little girls can go to school.
Let me help you really bring awareness to the bottom line, you should feel good about what you did, the problem is that YOU feel good about what you did. When else have you felt good about being decent? When else have you been asked to be decent? Not being racist or bigoted is a call back to decency. Homeostasis. Balanced and in the flow. Don’t go changing the narrative and saying it's different, because you have been caught on video a million times, saying it’s all connected. We knew it all along. So you don’t get to help open up a medical clinic in Somalia and not deal with your white privilege at the Starbucks by the convention center. Breathe fully into the present racist that you are. You want to feel less racist and you are not. You are just as racist on the mat and off. How many Black and brown faces just popped into your head as you try to refute what you just read? You have just deeper breathes right where the fuck you are. And I felt it the first time I walked into your studio. I mean, how many times have you said, “It would be good for the community- translation- we will look diverse, and our predominantly white clientele can say they have diversity in their studios. We understand that in being there, we must behave, we feel it when you take a sip on that alkaline water. You hope we don't bring too many of our friends to the studio, but you think I’m nice, so my friends should be ok.
“Oh”, she’s the teacher when you walk in. That is not a savasana riddim. I got it. Stay on my mat. I’m smelling turmeric again.
Now, I am fucking amazing, but most of the time after that workshop or training, it feels like you are seeing my greatness for the first time. As if it speaks to the parts of you that disbelieve. That’s the racism I’m talking about. America has yet to acknowledge racism’s beginning. So stop being confused as to why we are still here. Honestly. Let the diaphragm expand here. There is NO, I repeat NO white person in America, who is fully aware of all their biases and how they express them to the world all the time. If the faces you see of those in need of increased vibrations is not your own, and you are white, you are racist. Period. Take as many breaths as you need here. The 8th bullet that Breonna Taylor’s body took, bust open my 3rd eye and I can see beyond the veil of this eye pillow that you think your social media posts and extra gesture of kindness when I arrive in your studio makes you a social justice trailblazer. We are fighting for equal rights. But clearly, this is unclear. We see all the time, how everyone gets confused when we say bring your arms to your side. Equal rights is about decency. The mats are still staggered. And you are talking about your savasana hair.
What I saw as I fluttered my eyes open was more entitlement and racism than anyone seeking respite and wellness should have to carry on a mat or any day of living a human life. My pelvis in its posterior tilt, my chin lifted and heart open, trying to understand how you speak sanskrit and chant, and can’t sit with the mantra “Yes, I am racist”- for 5 breaths.
This is my story. How I’ve felt since day one in every one of your studios. There has never been an exception. NEVER. You have felt good about yourself for too long. Here’s a cheat sheet, of my thoughts while you sip your tea and use your oils. If you say your life is diverse and seek to itemize the amount of “diverse people in your wellness circle” you are just like them. Them being, the “racist” white people you know. Interesting how your racist friends are your friends and they are still your racist friends. Breathe into that. So the energetic lie that you meditate on is that you are not a part of the problem, is where we have a problem. It’s deeper than the psoas, it’s in your samskara folks. Racism is in your samskara. The facia folks. Every cell of your body has the energetic imprint of oppressing people and you benefiting from your whiteness. If you never thought of it that way, you have not been doing the work. You left class breathing deeply with your racism dug deep and clearly rising up, yes, I’m saying it again, we have to do both sides.
Your silence created plenty of space for me to realize that I was that Black person in your life that you talk about all time, not because you think I’m so fabulous, but I’m really only 1 or 3 of the Black persons you know. I make you feel good. You say it all the time. No, that’s not my energy. You are racist. My energy is amazing and I am a healer. But you feel amazing about being around me, you don’t see my amazingness independent of you. Then when you realize more people know me because you say I’m your tribe now, all of you gather and speak highly of the one Black person you know- maybe all three if you really have a diverse group of friends. And you are all so proud as you share your best memories like some kind of moon ritual to release the negative and low vibes of discrimination. Speaking of gatherings. You know, that party you tell me about after you’ve gone, and wow, how synchronistic of the universe that two of my white “friends”, tell me how much light and love they want to send me, cuz they were talking about me me, at the party, the one where your mind always slips and you meant to invite me. No you didn’t forget. You invite me when you remember, when for a moment you realize, some people don’t mind pepper. I feel that, and that’s why I always say no. You’re right. We did manifest this.
Must be that 5th dimension you're headed too, so convenient, feels familiar, like when folks at church talked of the rapture. Always somewhere else to strive to be. Always where racism is left. So nice that your one Black friend is in your psyche, long enough to send more light and love. Hmph. Your small circle of tribes persons and the Black girl. Yes, insert dope here. It’s urban. Inclusive. You’re doing great. Asking for a friend, how come at every retreat, when you dig deep into your shadow self, no one comes out with white privilege? Think about how many retreats you or others you know attended, how many go right to the wound of white supremacy?
That’s right we have a choice. You ain’t ready. We knew you were lying in that partner's class when you said, with eyes full of fresh hot tears, “I see you”.
Cuz now you are silent and listening??!
I know we let go of what no longer served us, but if we don’t call it by name we never release it so, what the fuck were you doing before? Why weren’t you fully present?
What energetic block was that? Let’s call it racism. Let’s call it what it is.
Go back into the child's pose, go search for what you said racist in 6th grade, or at breakfast, the way you lied about crafting that sequence, the way you feel you are entitled to anything you feel entitled to. Yes, all that is good is your birthright, but the racism thing, don’t miss that part.
You’ve controlled the narrative even in this industry. The trends and the juices. Most of which are cultural practices of non white persons who do not profit from how they are exploited and appropriated within this community of wellness that is fueled by what is white and healthy to white people. And now that you don’t know what the fuck to do, you want everyone working together. That’s how it feels. Of course you didn’t know, you never asked, and if you did, it was only so you could share what you are doing, the thing that you want us to know that makes you stand separate from your white racist friends. Don’t cover me with a blanket with overwhelming feelings of gratitude that at least one Black person is getting yoga. No thanks. That leaves me right in flight or flight sweetie. That energy is frying my nervous system.We feel the vibes of that singing bowl and your racism. My list of alleged white woke friends is as short as my hamstrings.
Racism and violence are the cornerstones of American culture. Agreed? Clearly. Now spend every day doing the work to eradicate those two things, in that order. Everyday. Of every minute. That’s the work. Your gratitude list isn’t about what you have- it’s about what you did. How did you miss that? Your privilege allowed you to do the latter. Again, you still think you are the teacher in the room.
Unless you are mindful and arrest your racism every minute of every day, you will and most certainly did something racist. And the part where you want to tell yourself that it is not so, means, that you don’t believe anything you preach at your wellness retreats, you just want photo ops of you with Black and Brown people, instead of living it. What, you figure you grab another crystal to transmute the little bias you have stuck in that hip?. Let’s call it racism. Fully connecting the low belly to the low back, I’m sure your lungs will empty. We can’t breathe either. Thanks for your awareness.
After all these years practicing all this nonwhite created magic, how is it that your circle is still so white and all of you talk about is the same one Black/ Non-white person in your life? That doesn’t seem odd to you? It’s yin and yang you beautiful light being. The colors are even there for you to see. Where is the disconnect? What ligament or tendon needs to be activated? What external rotation are you not willing to allow to open? When your heart burst open, all you saw was light and love? That’s all you got in there. Fux outa here, that makes no sense. Racism is your lower vibration, but not acknowledging it is like seeing someone out of alignment headed toward injury... I was talking about you. And if you don’t arrest your privilege and call out racism when you see it in yourself each and every moment of your every breath - you are part of the problem. Period. Take a few more breaths here.
I opened the package you sent marked love and the light was empty. Your intention without action will not dismantle racism and other forms of oppression in this country. You have been at this wellness shit for a while. It does not take this long. That is not your body telling you to pull back, that is the roar of racism all up in your chakras. You have believed your bullshit, you built your studios, had your retreats and healing circles. That last vinyasa class you took, you had such a shift, a release right? You feel more open? Was that before or after George Floyd was murdered? How is it that your life keeps getting better and deeper and we are in America talking about human lives mattering? Don’t start that higher consciousness chatter, it has officially been muffled by the whaling cries of Black families burying their dead.
This is about an extension, not outward, but inward. (Come on, dig deep to rise up. You’re doing great! Isn’t that what you want to hear?)
When in uttanasana, get out a little more racism and bias. Look at it. Breathe into that. Nope, stay there for a few more breaths. Breathe deeply into how very white your wellness community is. And if you can start to list names, to disprove my point- thank you, you actually proved my point. I can only tell you what I've felt and feel in all your white spaces and workshops. I felt like I made you feel better in your whiteness. I felt like you wanted me to know you manifested me in your meditation and law of attraction practice, so you could tell people how diverse your circle is. I mean, how many times do you tell your friends about how amazing the same one Black person in your life is? How long is your list of brown people whose names you call, recycle and compost at your retreats, to tell people you know a Black person, and they are not like “that”. And because you stand up for Black people in Costa Rica whilst at the resort, yes, you are speaking your truth. Right on. Thank you, we saw it in your story. We see your hashtag and the rainbow. Glad you felt good about yourself for saying something. It did not help Breonna Taylor. Nope, that’s not a new name, same sister, since March.
What kind of mat are you using? Maybe that has something to do with why your hands keep slipping when we tell you we can see straight through your yoga pants. We are nowhere near savasana. The spine wants to move, but the oppression of America on her knees and in the neck of Black America, is making it hella hard to come up to the top of the mat. You are not coming off the mat on this one, there is no union of mind-body my gods and goddess. No hashtag or ancient story for this. Perhaps we can start to use current events for our dharma talks?
No, you have confused safe space with complacent space. On your next breath come to terms with the fact that you can not use the music and culture of Black and Brown people and ignore the ways in which our sovereignty as human beings is being exploited, that local farm organic clearing spray you just bought, is not you doing your part. That’s you listening to your bullshit. I’ll wait for you to grab your tissues, because, for some reason, you encourage all your students to look inside, but can’t look in the mirror? There is no edge reached if you can come out of an inward journey and feel good about being decent. Yes, at least you did buy organic and tip the natives on your retreat a little extra. Add that to your gratitude list.
What yoga pose can people go in that doesn’t challenge their body and mind when they are fully expressed in it-every time? Name one. So how is it then, that your white wellness person self thinks you are doing the work to eradicate racism and are comfortable any day of the week you are living fully in all your whiteness? Should we put asana at the end, would that help?
Head to knee pose. We know you know that one.
You are not a victim. And you are reaping seeds from systems your ancestors put in place to keep Blacks oppressed. That is your history. We like to talk about how Blacks were enslaved, but somehow you miss that it was your elders that enslaved. Talk about those feelings- amongst yourselves please. It is your responsibility to dismantle it. My vibration is hella high, that’s why I’m fighting to be free, what frequency are you on, because you keep getting in the way. Your continuous need to send light and love, is contributing to the growth of this cancer called racism in America, it feels as though you want to live in a restorative bridge...you think it’s helpful, but we don’t need an energetic conduit to what’s decent and racist. Let’s go ahead and cut off the racist part. It’s no longer serving us.
I’ve listened to enough of our chats after class. Thank you for sharing what white friends you allegedly gave up or got looks from; that’s your privilege, did it ever occur to you, that “befriending” you has cost us something, or worse, added no value to our lives?
Making a statement and declaration to start with decency toward us Black human beings is an acknowledgment that you want to be held accountable. It says that you recognize that you have work to do and will need course correction and are willing to elevate from that low vibration of oppression and rise up to the higher vibration us freedom fighters are on.
If there is a knee in a neck no one can stand up. No one can come to the top of the mat. And I bet this is the one quote from this article, that will make you feel good about your racism. No one can explore their innermost parts till all are free. Why do you still have racist friends? You see how this is your problem. Why do you still practice and give your money to vendors and organizations that are racist? Do you think Black businesses just want your money?
I thought we agreed that we should be spending our money with businesses that are aligned with our hearts, we made sure to highlight that in the workshop we did together- we put it in the manual. You know, the one on self-awareness. Yes, it was super. Super white.
You asked me to read that part, I remember. If everything is an extension of our heart chakra, and I look at where your money goes, can the paper trail show you are not racist? We are just talking about you right now, breathe here. Here’s something else to use in your daily practice- as long as you continue to feel good after you do something not racist, know you have more dismantling -racist work to do. What else do you do that is simply decent and feel amazing for it? If you want a litmus test of when you are healed of your racism: when it becomes your way of being. Meditation on no thought, is just as important and meditating on one thought. Racism is a white people problem. Yes, you co created it. The vibration of those you oppress is not lower, you are the oppressor, it's your vibes. You need to increase your consciousness. And you believed differently because you are racist.
Do the work to figure out how to heal that shit. Yoga taught us how to breathe into two seemingly opposite things. Kinda like how the awareness of what racism really is, should naturally generate inspired action to dismantle it as quickly as you float into down-dog.
What would the world look like if we took care of the rights of Black people the way we set ourselves up for a restorative pose. What would it look like if those who suffer as a result of your privilege could take the breath you do- even just in their energetic body, the way you take a breath when you slowly roll up one vertebra at a time. How? How can you come out of a child's pose after three full breaths, and not come up and see that you Miss. Lulu sister was extremely disrespectful when...and that was your bias, fully present when you said.... How can you come out of warrior two so slowly and not realize that your weapons are drawn because you still don’t want us in your neighborhood? And you chuckle, throw your head back, opening up your throat chakra pressing those hips forward, only to still have no evidence of true anti-racist -dismantling racist work in your life. Of course you think buying oil from farmers abroad to help you keep all your white friends and family healthy whilst oppressing Brown and Black people in your own country makes you not racist. Ok, Karen. *Inhales peppermint deeply*.
So pray for it then! Ask! Be specific with the universe. Ask: Show me the ways I am racist and biogstrous today and let me be decent and willing to transmute it into truth. Nope, y'all ain’t putting that out there, you say, let me be the highest expression of myself. Good job. Thank you for the pay it forward coffee you bought that Black girl behind you- good job.
I was raised in the church and I quickly became allergic to all the ways in which institutions, including the church, get tangled in everything else but love. So initially when I found my yoga community, I was immediately swept away by the freedom of the questions and answer period as opposed to lecture sermons being told what to do. As time went on, and I deepened my own spiritual practices and continued to experience America being America, I noticed the silence and microaggressive forms of racism in the wellness community that presented to be woke, but was really them fast asleep in savasana. Yes, you rest and take it all in, while my people are being murdered. You can place that bullshit under your knees and head. We don’t get to tell ourselves after our Sunday morning power flow, that we have more full-body awareness than our other brothers and sisters of various religions. If anyone is suffering, it is absence of light, not to be confused with access to light. Whose in the way?
Just like we remind our students to breathe, you need to remind yourself every day that you have no generational memory of when your whiteness did not benefit you. You have to teach yourself to do it every day until it's natural to you like your racism is. That healing is not in the breath alone, this nectar, dwells in the spaces between each breath- it’s that space where possibility lies, and when George Floyd took his last breath- all possibility for him- being able to raise his children and live his life went with him. It was on his last exhale. And yes, we already know he is always with us, but right now, we are talking about his murder. Breathe into that.
You are part of the problem. I’ll tell you how I’ve felt in every white-owned studio and wellness place I have ever been too. I didn’t know of a Black-owned studio until I opened my own. I felt like your prop, the one that confirmed for you that you used the law of attraction to bring me into your life and that was proof that you're not that bad. That thinking is more dangerous than being a klansman. While the klansman intends to fully destroy the physical body and essence of our brothers and sisters, your lightweight and loveless microaggressive racism is the facia. You do not get a pass. You do not get to use brown culture for your retreats and spiritual awakenings and call the police on our brothers and sisters. You don’t get to have a brown guru and your entitlement. Spiritual and psychological concurrence is necessary for the psyche’s health- even in the face of miracles! I feel like my presence makes you feel like your life has been diversified enough so your life doesn’t look too white. You know, kinda like you diversify your child care and cleaning services. It feels like you having brown culture in the form of artifacts is how you silence the bias within you when for those few moments it arrests your breath on the mat. Only visualizing our body in a headstand is not gonna get us there.
Far too many empty spiritual responses. And we noticed.
Your light and love landed as flat as the sticky mat. Please stop sending what you are not willing to cultivate daily in yourself. We’ve come out of the pose and racism is still here. We’ve done both sides. We breathed deeply and it’s still here. Maybe we should try something different. A modification would be great.
My neck hurts.