Looking Back, Moving Forward

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

–MLKJr

[dropcap style=”1″ size=”3″]W[/dropcap]hen I attended George Mason University, the school was the second most diverse in the country. As a young man coming from a poor, rural community and moving into an affluent suburb of the District, I was afforded the opportunity to befriend people of many different colors and creeds. You could have gone to the arcade with all of the tokens.

This past week, I’ve done the rounds on social media talking about Miley Cyrus and what it represents towards appropriation and denigration of “black culture.” My favorite pull-quote from all of this is also a healthy reminder: “Black Culture is not a Monolith”

Nor is the yoga community. Heck, nor is the Ashtanga community.

This was my last week teaching at Yoga District, a yoga studio that has very much in common with a co-op. I’ve had such a lovely experience over the past year and a half working there, but it’s time for me to move on. It isn’t my culture.

Same-same with Little River Yoga, if for different reasons. After a year and some change of teaching alongside Tova Steiner, its time for me to pack my bags and head east: back into the District proper. This wasn’t a case of culture divide so much as physical.

One of my old friends cum aquaintaince is moving away, and her students are in need of a steward. I’m a steward in need of students. It seems like an organic fit… and its just down the street from my home. Sometimes cultural divides are manifested physical distance. Sometimes they aren’t.

DC Ashtanga, my new Mysore program, is being held at Kali Yoga– a studio in Columbia Heights. The neighbourhood of Columbia Heights was one of the first I ever lived in after moving away to school. We had a gorgeous, if dilaptitated, townhouse on a block that sure as shit wasn’t safe to walk home to after dark.  My, how things change.

Ten years later and there will be a queer ashtangi opening the doors for folks of all colors and creeds. For a variety of income levels, physical prowesses, and age. We’re all the special, because none of us are. I can’t wait to share.

Join me, won’t you?

 

 

 

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