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Ahimsa & Satya. Fierce Tenderness

Ahimsa & Satya.  Fierce Tenderness

Ahimsa & Satya. Fierce Tenderness



Cancel culture cloaked in self righteousness is easy to access.

It is this reactive, defensive mode that is readily available to most of us (including me for full transparency).

Fortunately, yoga philosophy gives us a framework to navigate, regulate and show up grounded, resolute, open minded, open hearted and willing to learn and grow.

Ahimsa-this foundational piece is not only the absence of violence or conflict. It is not rainbows and unicorns (although I like both of these immensely!). It is actively rooting out causes of harm. it is repairing the breach. It is restoration and reconciliation.

Satya-truthfulness, healthy self-expression. This is also speaking Truth to Power and deep, embodied listening.

If this sounds difficult, it is. It is a practice. One that we come to over and over again.

Many yoga and wellness practitioners focus this on the individual practitioner and often in the context of the practice itself. Ahimsa and Satya here is self care on the mat, being true to your practice and experience. While this is helpful, in our culture, it can also lend into navel gazing and hyper focus on the individual.

Many yoga and wellness practitioners also avoid any mention of inequity, injustice, racism, homophobia, ableism and anything that can cause discomfort.

I am not that person.

Growing up, it was pointed out as impolite to talk about politics, religion or anything divisive in company.

I wholeheartedly disagree with this because now all we know how to do is scream into the echo chambers and at this point, it is so predictable that many choose to avoid these topics altogether, especially folx who work in the wellness industries and don’t wish to offend anyone.

Being able to dialogue around these areas in our discomfort-with a regulated nervous system (again, a practice) can generate understanding and space, especially for those whose very existence is challenged by the establishment, and can be generative.

We need the medicine of fierce tenderness everywhere. In our wellness spaces for sure so we can teach regulation rather than a whitewashed, water down version of mindfulness meant to internalize strong feelings instead of being with them in community and learning to co regulate.

So, what does it feel like to you to read these words? What do you notice in your body? Is there a pull, an affirmation? A Resistance?

This is something to practice in community, both on and off the mat.

To me, becoming established in truth is a process.

I am taking a deep dive into yoga philosophy as a life long student in a year long immersion with Susanna Barkataki and Yoga Class Curator I am also learning from Kazu Haga and Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm

Times are challenging with violence erupting in our communities, in our country and in the world. How do we live in truth, in integrity?

Let’s explore this together. Join me this month either in person or online.


Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.