Although the pandemic not only postponed our original meeting date but also revised our mode of delivery, 4yoga teachers gathered on Zoom on Saturday, June 27, for our second professional-development meeting of the year.
Using a combination of presenting, reflective writing, and discussion, Cre Dye reminded us that we are all storytellers who have the ability to change our narratives. She led us through an exploration of our generational stories and a consideration of how we can revise them as we recognize and respond to the stress and trauma affecting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities.
When asked about her takeaways from the workshop, Heather Kessler replied, “Cre brought new and much needed insight to a tough topic that needs to be addressed. Her knowledge and real-life experience really helped to give me an understanding of how we can begin to look at racial inequality with a new perspective and create positive change.”
Leslie Weigel noted, “I valued the guided introspection that Cre led, helping me to see how I am anchored into my past, yet realizing that I am free to break away from the contracts of the past and ‘put down what is not mine to carry’.” Carmen Herrera agreed about connecting the past, the present, and the future together: she indicated that the session provided a “much needed reminder to STAY aware that our actions/decisions, our thoughts and emotions impact beyond just us in the present ‘now’, but also affects ‘our’ collective being for generations to come… just like the previous generations affect us now.”
Sydni Elhubishi remembered a point that also stood out to other participants: “You’re not responsible for your first thought, but you are responsible for your second thought and your first action.” In fact, Leslie called this idea the point “that has stuck with me most firmly since the class”—”while my first thought/my reaction to a situation or person may emerge from my past, from my cultural history, my second thought and my (first) action is MY responsibility and I can change those thoughts and actions.”
Carmen and Sydni both remarked on the ways that the workshop can lead us to action. In Carmen’s words, “We can create safe spaces that welcome discussion and awareness of racism and other types of hurtful, aggressive social behaviours.” Sydni reflected, “We have to continue to have compassion for all, and let that compassion (and other emotions) lead us to action.“
We all appreciate Cre sharing her time and expertise with our teaching community!
About our quarterly teacher workshops: we host workshops to provide opportunities for teachers to spend time together and to learn from and with each other. As a bonus, when the teacher organizing the workshop is a Yoga Alliance continuing education provider, the events also provide, at no cost, continuing education hours to teachers who participate! To retain registration with Yoga Alliance, all teachers complete at least 30 continuing education hours every three years, demonstrating their commitment to ongoing learning.