“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
My spirit is in tatters. It wasn’t shock over the volume or nature of the #metoo post eruption on social media. It was the verbal, undeniable confirmation that this is actually our world. Part of me hoped I would be wrong, and a group of female riders would gallop in from the sidelines brandishing giant banners with the hashtag #notme. But it seems I don’t know a single woman who can say that, not one. I asked publicly hoping someone would come to rescue my faith in humanity and dare I say it, in men. And yet not one.
If no women can say they have not been harassed, attacked or assaulted, then it means that a lot of men, maybe even most, might be in some way involved in these violations… and believe me, I am not a man hater, I’m transgender and might actually be a man myself (yeah, I know, wrap your brain around that one for a second.) Am I doing the math wrong? I’m not trying to blame anyone, I’m just trying to see the landscape here and understand that our dads, our grandfathers, our boyfriends, brothers, husbands, cousins and friends might have done these things. Which makes it safe to say we are all doing something very wrong in our growing and maturing of young men and women in what we allow and teach and don’t allow and don’t teach. I mean, doesn’t it give you a pit in your stomach?
The other day I was telling my THERAPIST that I was attacked on multiple occasions, because, you know, #metoo. A lot of times, a lot of violations. I was telling him things I’d never told anyone before. His response was, “well, not all men are bad.” UMMMM. Really?!?! I know that. Or at least I have had to believe that all my life in order to be able to live in this world. And wait, are all men really not bad??? It certainly has made me examine my own behavior.
Years ago, I took a complaint to the owner of a very very well known studio, on behalf of a student in order to maintain her anonymity. It was a serious complaint about one of the senior teachers harassing her, writing vulgar emails -which she still had- and being physically cornered in the hallway and kissed, after she had asked him to back off. None of the advances were invited or consensual. Some of this happened within the studio’s walls. The owner, a woman, didn’t really want to hear it, even though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the first time she’d had a complaint about this same teacher. I had heard rumors for years. She gave me a choice: to mind my own business or to work somewhere else. I needed the money. So I stayed.
Years later, this assaulter is still around- beloved and teaching. So… haven’t we been complicit to some degree? And am I still complicit by not telling you his name? My better angels say “But that was six years ago… Do you think it’s possible it was a glaring mistake of his youth? Is it possible he’s changed and is now a better man?” I seriously doubt it.
Also, since It didn’t directly happen to me I didn’t have the emails, etc. I don’t have hard evidence that says THIS HAPPENED. I no longer work with or near him. It’s also not the only situation like this I’ve come up against. And honestly, even women employers seem to take the perpetrator’s side more often than not, unless the proof and the situation is horrifically dramatically undeniable. It boils down to economics and keeping your nose clean. And the worst of it is the dude is a good teacher. A perve, but a good teacher.
I don’t know how to untie all of these knots.
I can however recommit to you. And tell you that I will continue to do everything so that your name is safe on my lips. So that who you are, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, and orientation is safe in my presence and in my room. I’ve prided myself over the years for traveling with some of you to the most remote of places and managing to keep you safe. Well, here we are, in our own cultural version of the last place on earth, without a lick of reception or GPS. Where the fuck is Siri when you need her?
So, I will continue to do just that, hold a safe space for you and for me and for this social netting we are trying to slowly patch into something livable for all of us. My mat has always been my sanctuary, my temple. Where my spirit comes home to roost. I wish this for you as well. Come to class. Don’t abandon your practice in these stressful times. When we practice together we are reminded of our own and each other’s goodness. We come to remember who we are, where we’ve been and to forgive- ourselves and others. We come to study and dismantle those systems that are toxic- like toxic masculinity and patriarchy. Men, for this we need you as well. We must do this together. This enables us to become who we want to be.
And if for some reason your mat is not safe, your yoga room is not safe- come talk to me, I will go to bat for you. I no longer have any patience for people who can’t wrangle and curb their inappropriate smarmy energy. Grow up, study your yamas and niyamas and get your shit together. From this day #metoo turns into #notme. At the very least in our yoga space. We are taking back our studio.
Surf and Yoga
With Derek Cook and Miles Borrero
Early Bird ends Nov 1st. Register before then and save $300. It’s a yearly thing now and my absolute favorite. All you have to do is arrive in Medellin which is a direct 5.5 hr flight from NYC. We do the rest. It is the best time of the year there and has been one of the coldest weeks of the year in NYC every time.
To Check Out CLICK HERE
Where is My Head?
Saturday Nov. 11th 11-1:30pm
Pure Yoga West
$35 members-$40 non-members
There can be great confusion as to where the head should go in asanas and what to do with it. Yoga loads the top half of our bodies in a way that is unusual for many of us. Most of us can relate to having neck tension and discomfort in our upper backs and shoulders. So the question of what to do with our heads, the heaviest part of the body, becomes important.
This is my attempt at giving you the information you need so you can carve out a sweeter relationship to your spine in poses, thus completing your spine in a way that doesn’t tax your neck and shoulders unnecessarily.
The first hour will be an experiential anatomy portion highlighting the relationship of the tailbone to the head. Then we will practice to integrate what you’ve learned into your asana.
The Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan
April 23-May 2
Come. There’s still time. It’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime with a great group of people.
To Check Out CLICK HERE