I recently had the privilege of meeting a lovely young journalist for an interview about my Queer Yoga (I will share once it’s published); and one of the questions they asked was what motivated me to start the class in the first place, and what I thought its function was. A good question! As I have also resumed a new class of Queer Yoga (at a new later time of 6.45pm at Yoga On The Square) I thought it would be a good chance to explain my motivation for queer yoga, and why I think having such a space is so important.
1. A safe space
For queer people, and especially visibly queer people, the world can be full of challenges that non-queer people may not consider. This can be as difficult as coming up against prejudice and discrimination, or just the water-torture drip of micro-aggressions that other people may not even notice, but which over time takes its toll on any queer person just living their life. I wan to create a yoga space as free as possible from micro-aggressions, questions and intrusions. In this class, you, and your sexuality, gender, gender expression and identity will be respected, and you will always be welcomed.
2. Nourishing and caring for the queer body
The queer body is political – often a subject of public scrutiny and debate – turning it into a battle ground where queer people are often forced to fight for privacy, autonomy and acceptance! Not only external politics (and medical, social and cultural discourse) but this constant conflict can turn inwards and create an internal struggle for love and acceptance. The notion that loving your body is an act of rebellion certainly holds truth for those in the queer community. Withe these various wars raging, internal and out; queer yoga is a place of sanctuary and a calm port for the queer body. Here ALL bodies are accepted and welcome and cared about. So with this in mind; when you come to queer yoga please wear what you feel comfortable in (only rule is no shoes in the studio), go at your own pace and take all instruction as a suggestion not a command. My teaching is an invitation, but you decide what feels best and most nourishing for your body. I want you to find so much joy in moving and resting and breath in your body that it charges you up for any battle there may be.
3. Creating ‘kula’ – community
If there is one thing most queer people understand, it’s the need for finding a tribe and creating a strong community. The LGBTQ+ community has traditionally focused their community hubs in pubs, clubs and bars; and where there is absolutely wrong with these spaces and they do serve an important purpose, I also see a need for queer spaces based around other things, such as wellbeing. The two areas of my life where I have found the strongest friendship and community is my queer family and my yoga tribe; I would love for Queer Yoga to create such a community creating connections for those looking for their tribe.
4. To create resilience and empowerment
I have found the things I have gained most from a regular yoga practice, has been resilience (physical, emotional and mental) and a feeling of empowerment. I also believe these are two things that as queer folk we can never have enough of. The world at large still tries to disempower and weaken queer people and queer community. Queer yoga helps to build that empowerment and resilience as tools to help you navigate a world that is not always easy, and to help those around you do the same.
5. Because yoga is amazing
I love yoga. I really love yoga and it feels like a gift to be able to share it with people. I think everyone deserves a space to feel safe and empowered to learn yoga in. I want everyone to be able to discover yoga and its benefits and don’t like the thought that people wouldn’t try it because they feel uncomfortable or unsafe or anxious. Queer yoga welcome you and celebrates you and I am just so happy I get to share this with you; and hope you grow to love it and get as much out of it as I have.
If you have any questions about the class or want to discuss anything with me before attending, then please get in touch via the contact form or email. To book a class visit the event page. Queer Yoga is also available on Move GB and discount cards are available.