Is That Your Male Privilege or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

A confluence of conversations has emerged in the yoga world regarding purpose, safety, and abuse of power.

The politics involved are playing themselves out, and the sides of the debate are being formed along disparate lines. The microcosm of what has been occurring in practice rooms for more than a decade is now bursting forth in a macrocosmic confusion around where people stand. As communities struggle to make sense of confusing emotions and contradictory viewpoints, a careful examination of where we might actually be able to effect change is in order.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Patriarchy, Microaggression, and Political Correctness

I recognize that I was born into privilege.

Being male, white and American comes with a set of assumptions and implicit biases that are deeply ingrained in me and the mores of our fathers. As a progressive-minded person who wants to be an example of attitudes and actions that foster a more just and humane society, I am willing to have my unconscious behaviors laid bare so that I might learn new ways of communicating and interacting with people and the world. But in order for this to occur, my hope must be met with more than mere outrage.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

A Social Disease - Privilege in America

At the very root of privilege is an advantage or favor that many times in America has come in the form of race, class, and gender. Institutional and generational injustices are appearing on our smartphone screens more than ever. 

I dare to ask and say to you:

How seriously and clinically have we audited privilege in our lives? And as important, what do we do about it?

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About The Author

Henry Cross's picture

Henry Cross grew up in sunny Miami, Florida. Upon graduating high school, he moved to the politicized Washington, D.C. and double majored in History and Politics at the Catholic University. He served as a social studies teacher in Prince George’s County Public School in 2008-2009. In the fall of 2009, he moved to New York City to continue and grow his work in education and service.

He joined Hosh Yoga in 2011 as a teacher and Program Director. And since 2013, he founded and expanded programming for the organization with Hosh Kids and Hosh Seniors. Henry's entrepreneurial spirit helped developed the organizational, program, and financial capacity of the nonprofit to deliver self-sustaining and self-supporting health and wellness services to over 3,000 children, adults, and seniors every month in a cost-effective and fairly-priced way. And from 2014 to 2016, he participated in a philanthropic role by expanding the programming, policy, and public advocacy efforts of the Sonima Foundation as Community Relations Director.

His work has been featured by the Huffington PostElephant JournalBlog Talk RadioThe NYC Social Innovation FestivalSocial Venture Institute, and multiple Brooklyn and Queens newspapers. He is an appointed New York City official of Community Board 5 in Queens, serves on a Department of Youth and Community Development Neighborhood Advisory Board, and on the board of directors of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association. And in 2015, Henry was selected as an etsy.org business fellow and awarded Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Rising Star. He finds joy in his community work service everyday and loves ballroom dancing!

Deeply Looking at the Man in the Mirror

This morning I awoke to the contrast, complexity, and hypocrisy that is me!

You see, I have seen a lot in my 45 times around the sun.

I have seen the best in people, and I have seen the worst in people. I have seen the best in myself, and I have seen the worst in myself.

With all that I have seen from so many different perspectives, today, I awaken to the knowing that living all of this, was still living from a place of privilege. 

It is a very humbling and awakening moment to say the least.

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About The Author

Erik Lehmann's picture

Erik has served in a sales or revenue-generating capacity for most of his professional life. He appreciates the process of prospecting new business and networking into expanded opportunities, thriving in environments where he gets to negotiate win-win propositions. As a pharmaceutical representative, Erik made it his personal responsibility to get to know providers and meet them where they were. In 2013, Erik founded the Game Changer Movement after the Sandy Hook Shootings broke his heart.  The Game Changer Movement challenges the world to Change it’s Game by taking personal responsibility for all the choices we make. As the Director of Sponsorships and Visibility for evox Television and Marketplace, he is excited to be part of a team that is serving to change the world’s game.  Those who are changing the world, with the work they do or the products they provide, deserve to be promoted and celebrated.

#BarbieSavior is Funny, But Perhaps Damaging Too

#BarbieSavior and Privilege

Look, I get it. I think the whole #BarbieSavior meme that has taken Instagram by storm is pretty hilarious–pretty dolls posed in the worst possible ways mocking “savior” voluntourism situations, clearly motivated by the plastic needs of the plastic character to assuage her own guilt and show the world how fabulous she is. (The photo in this blog, BTW, is NOT from BarbieSavior…it’s just Barbie)

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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Statue of man putting crown on his own head.
11/20/2018
A confluence of conversations has emerged in the yoga world regarding purpose, safety, and abuse of power. The politics involved are playing themselves out, and the sides of the debate are being... read more
Boss sits at desk while secretary squishes down on low chair
08/24/2018
I recognize that I was born into privilege. Being male, white and American comes with a set of assumptions and implicit biases that are deeply ingrained in me and the mores of our fathers. As a... read more
Homeless man in subway with sign says SEEKING HUMAN KINDNESS
07/25/2018
At the very root of privilege is an advantage or favor that many times in America has come in the form of race, class, and gender. Institutional and generational injustices are... read more
Man with chrome mirrored cover over his face
06/06/2018
This morning I awoke to the contrast, complexity, and hypocrisy that is me! You see, I have seen a lot in my 45 times around the sun. I have seen the best in people, and I have seen the worst... read more
Barbie doll in the garden wearing pink sweatshirt.
09/21/2016
#BarbieSavior and Privilege Look, I get it. I think the whole #BarbieSavior meme that has taken Instagram by storm is pretty hilarious–pretty dolls posed in the worst possible ways mocking “savior... read more
Statue of man putting crown on his own head.
11/20/2018
A confluence of conversations has emerged in the yoga world regarding purpose, safety, and abuse of power. The politics involved are playing themselves out, and the sides of the debate are being... read more
Boss sits at desk while secretary squishes down on low chair
08/24/2018
I recognize that I was born into privilege. Being male, white and American comes with a set of assumptions and implicit biases that are deeply ingrained in me and the mores of our fathers. As a... read more
Homeless man in subway with sign says SEEKING HUMAN KINDNESS
07/25/2018
At the very root of privilege is an advantage or favor that many times in America has come in the form of race, class, and gender. Institutional and generational injustices are... read more
Man with chrome mirrored cover over his face
06/06/2018
This morning I awoke to the contrast, complexity, and hypocrisy that is me! You see, I have seen a lot in my 45 times around the sun. I have seen the best in people, and I have seen the worst... read more
Barbie doll in the garden wearing pink sweatshirt.
09/21/2016
#BarbieSavior and Privilege Look, I get it. I think the whole #BarbieSavior meme that has taken Instagram by storm is pretty hilarious–pretty dolls posed in the worst possible ways mocking “savior... read more