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Radically Loved® with Rosie Acosta

Hi I’m Rosie Acosta. I am a Meditation Teacher; Speaker and Author of You Are Radically Loved: A healing journey to self-love. I grew up in East Los Angeles during the 92 La Riots and it set me on a troubled path for many years. I didn’t grow up with mentors in my life, so I turned to reading as many books as I possibly could to learn about life’s purpose. In my journey as a First Gen-Mexican American, I found having these conversations gave me insight, support, and inspiration. So, I decided to create a place where I could share these conversations with my community. The Radically Loved Podcast was born! How do we create a radically loved life? Come have a sit with me so we can discover all things mindfulness, spirituality, self-love, and overall healthy living. Please be sure to share the episodes that you love and also leave us a review!
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Feb 12, 2021

Honoring the Roots of Yoga with Susanna Barkataki

Yoga is now so popular that people tend to overlook and honor the cultural roots of the practice. For some, yoga is only a trend, a part of an aesthetic experience, or simply a pastime. These may seem offensive to those who honor the roots of yoga . However, Susanna Barkataki shares that it only takes some guidance and understanding.

In this episode, Susanna joins me to talk about cultural appropriation and how we can avoid appropriating yoga. For teachers, she shares how you can deepen your understanding of the spiritual practice.

If you are curious about honoring the roots of yoga or want to improve your practice, this episode is for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand the importance of honoring the cultural roots of spiritual practices like yoga.
  2. Learn how to deepen your understanding of yoga.
  3. Find out how Susanna feels radically loved by listening to the full episode!

Resources

  • Embrace Yoga’s Roots by Susanna Barkataki
  • Ignite, a YTT Training Course
  • Connect with Susanna on Instagram!
  • Create a daily meditation ritual in just seven days! Download BUILD YOUR DAILY MEDITATION RITUAL and other freebies at com!
  • FREE WORKBOOK! Apply the lessons you learn from this episode as you listen! Enter your email below, and I’ll send it right away!

Episode Highlights

Susanna’s Personal Experience on Appropriation

  • Susanna grew up in Los Angeles and has a mixed culture — she is half-white and half-Indian. She was made fun of as a child for things part of her family’s culture and heritage.
  • Later on, she witnessed white women sporting the same parts of her culture, yet they were deemed hip, “in,” or cool.
  • This experience is what led her to study cultural appropriation and educate others.
  • You cannot understand cultural appropriation without understanding power systems like oppression, colonization, or white supremacy.
  • Yoga is a way of life. It is not something you do. It is something you are.

How Current Events Helped Susanna’s Message

  • In their youth, Susanna and her peers have been advocating issues regarding how the system has been failing many.
  • The Black Lives Matter movement amplified their advocacies.
  • However, it is unfortunate that lives had to be lost for people to see the urgency.

On Non-Natives Practicing and Teaching Yoga

  • It is entirely up to how willing they are to dive deeper into the roots of yoga and learn the practice.
  • It’s important to get in touch with teachers who are from the lineage.
  • Susanna poses questions for those who aspire to be teachers of yoga.
  • She suggests that there’s more to explore, significantly beyond concepts of yoga that are “popularized.”

On Cultural Appropriation and Power Imbalance

  • The two criteria for cultural appropriation are power imbalance and harm.
  • Power imbalance is the dominant culture you see when you think of a yoga space. Nowadays, it’s those who are privileged.
  • Susanna talks about harm. Her teachers and their teachers don’t mix alcohol with their practice. Yogic texts prohibit drinking and consider it disrespectful.
  • Be careful with tattoos and t-shirt prints, as well as using sacred symbols. Think about whether there is a power imbalance and whether there would be harm.
  • For more information on the harmful effects of cultural appropriation, listen to the podcast.

How Sanskrit Can Deepen Our Understanding

  • You should remain a student to deepen your knowledge.
  • Teachers should also learn the Sanskrit of poses.
  • As a teacher, you don’t necessarily have to speak them out loud but, at the very least, understand the concept from the language.
  • Susanna can teach even preschoolers using the language.
  • Listen to the podcast to learn more about how to be a proper yoga teacher!

Learning from Mistakes

  • Sometimes, mistakes do happen, and you can’t be entirely perfect.
  • Susanna encourages those wanting to get into spiritual practice to put in the effort and educate themselves.
  • Susanna talks about her book, which discusses the roots of yoga. Make sure to listen to the full episode to hear more!

Correcting Mistakes

  • Someone might get discouraged if they are told they are wrong.
  • If you’re a teacher, it’s better to be open and collaborative rather than critical.
  • You can ask questions out of curiosity and the need to understand.
  • From there, you can make gentle suggestions and guide others.

Uplifting Others

  • Susanna appreciates people who actively want to learn because it means they are tuning in.
  • When people want to learn, minorities feel heard.
  • People who aren’t of color can use their privilege for cultural healing.

Yoga in the Time of a Crisis

  • Because of the current global situation, people are finding themselves more anxious and stressed.
  • It is essential to serve the soul.
  • You can find authentic yoga teachers.
  • In times of grief, yoga can show up in different forms to support us.
  • Your yoga practice can create something for the community beyond the mat.

5 Powerful Quotes from the Episode

[04:26] “Well, yoga isn’t really something that you do, it’s something that you are.”

[07:57] “For a lot of us, we’ve been here, we’ve been having these conversations, we’ve been doing the work, but no one was really listening until the pressure got too high.”

[09:02] “I think there’s a feeling of empowerment, to both speak up and say what’s wrong and what’s not working, and also empowerment to collaborate and to uplift intersectionality.”

[25:14] “When you think about the preservation of a culture, it’s story, it’s language, it’s practice, it’s a ritual. And so I really do think yoga teachers everywhere should learn Sanskrit.”

[37:33] “I think true yoga can show up for us, and be a support, and be a life raft.”

About Susanna

Susanna Barkataki is a self-published author, teacher, and advocate for many causes, including yoga culture. As a child and immigrant to the US, she had experienced a lot of violence because of her ethnicity and culture. Despite this, she learned to love herself and even liberate herself with a core part of her culture—yoga.

Susanna’s mission is to raise awareness on how yoga is a lifestyle, rather than just an exercise. She seeks to spread the message of inclusivity and hopes that people will unite through yoga one day.

If you want to connect with Susanna, you can visit her website. You can also reach out to her on Instagram.

 

This episode is brought to you by

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This episode is brought to you by

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To feeling radically loved,

Rosie

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