On and Off Your Mat

Honoring the Roots of Yoga with Susanna Barkataki

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I have a passion for helping women in their personal growth, so they can feel that anything is possible in life. Blogging is one way I do that; another medium for me to share a more personal side of the whole journey. 

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For this episode, I sat down with Susanna Barkataki. Susanna is a yoga teacher, Certified Yoga Therapist and the founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute where she runs Ignite Be Well 200/500 Yoga teacher Training programs. She is the author of the forthcoming book Honor Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice. With a degree in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Education from Cambridge College, Barkataki is a diversity, accessibility, inclusivity, and equity yoga unity educator who created the ground-breaking Honor {Don’t Appropriate} Yoga Summit with more than 10,000 participants.

Listen to the full episode here:

MY 5 BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE

  1. Originally, the practice was meant to help transcend the attachment to the body. A full yoga practice is far beyond the physical. It includes all 8 limbs, yoga philosophy, ethics, mantra, mudra, spiritual and lineage acknowledgment and appreciation, and more.
  2. To be a responsible and holistic yoga teacher today, you need to have some understanding of social justice and social equity since yoga is about unity.
  3. Yoga was pre-religious, it was an earth-based spiritual practice. Yoga came from the elements as a way to understand suffering, understand the world around us, and to learn to be more in harmony with that world and with ourselves. It later co-existed and was influenced by the major world religions. It’s at least 2,500 BCE, possibly 5,000-10,000 BCE.
  4. The lack of accessibility, representation, and equality in yoga classes is a public health issue. As a teacher, ask yourself who is not here, and why are missing?
  5. As a student, diversify your feed, seek out a variety of teachers, support organizations that work towards equality and diversity. Commit to sticking to a variety of practices. There is no rule book. It’s about thinking critically and acting in a way that brings balance to the power difference and tries to heal the harm that was made in the past.

QUESTIONS SHE ANSWERED DURING THIS EPISODE

  • Why are you passionate about this work? And who do you it for?
  • You say “There has been some misunderstanding as to what yoga is in the west today” Could you explain what is the definition of yoga you work with, just so we’ll all be on the same page?
  • How does the definition translate and look like in our experience of yoga in a studio in the western world?
  • What as westerner yoga teachers should we study, look at, consider?
  • Can we do a brief overview history of yoga?
  • Was the watering down of the practice to make it more palatable was a good strategy?
  • How does racism show up in the yoga community and how can we create more equality and diversity?
  • As a student, how do you make other students feel more welcomed and participate in the efforts of the studio to be more inclusive?
  • What is cultural appropriation, what isn’t?
  • What does cultural appropriation look like in the yoga context?

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Thank you so much for listening and being part of our 69th episode! If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe, rate and review anywhere you listen. As always, I really appreciate your support with this podcast whether it’s through reviews or through Patreon. With even a small donation of $5/month you can get access to more content, exclusive episodes, tutorials, guided meditations. On October 1st, you got a Restorative Yoga Class on Video. You can also have access to some or all the classes we’ve recorded on zoom and continue to record during this shelter-in-place. If you’d like to have access to all this and/or support me in the creation of this podcast, please visit www.patreon.com/onandoffyourmat and become a PREMIUM member on the tier of your choice.

ABOUT OUR GUEST

An Indian yoga practitioner in the Shankaracharya tradition, Susanna Barkataki is the founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute and runs Ignite Be Well 200/500 Yoga Training programs. She is an E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). She is the author of the forthcoming book Honor Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice. With an Honors degree in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Education from Cambridge College, Barkataki is a diversity, accessibility, inclusivity, and equity (DAIE) yoga unity educator who created the ground-breaking Honor {Don’t Appropriate} Yoga Summit with more than 10,000 participants.

IG: @susannabarkataki

susannabarkataki.com

ignitebewell.com

namastemasterclass.com

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CHOCOLATE OBSESSED, 
TRAVEL ENTHUSIAST, CHRONIC OVERACHIEVER & PLANT MAMA.

Hi, I'm Erika.
Your Yoga Teacher and Life Coach.

I have a passion for helping women in their personal growth, so they can feel that anything is possible in life. Blogging is one way I do that; another medium for me to share a more personal side of the whole journey. Self-Study, awareness, and inquiry are a big part of my path. Join me as I use my experiences as the base for the lessons I want to share. I write about what I know and what helps me, hoping that it will help you.

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