yama-july18

Radical Futures Project

Dear Yogis,

I am honored to be speaking  in a few weeks at The Excel Academy at NYU / Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom School “Radical Futures Project.”

Radical is defined as departure from tradition, innovative, progressive.

The project asks for a diverse range of professionals, artists and community members, who are creating liberatory change within their fields, to expose and connect youth to various experiences and professions; we capture the inspiring, diverse and evolving narratives of people carving out possibility for life, healing and advancement and thus, radically imagining the future.

The students are high school age and from the South Bronx.  Most will be first in their families to attend college (as was I), and all are currently visioning for their future while living amidst turmoil on the streets and gang violence (as have I).  I am sure you’ve seen the news lately 

Ash, our designer at YAMA attended the wake.  I asked her what the energy was like and she replied “conflicting, angry and hurt.”  “Angry at who?” I replied, “they have the kids who killed him, right?” “Just angry at everything, it basically killed the Bronx too,” she continued, “my opinion on the whole thing is that we need to try harder to connect to each other on basic levels.  It’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake these days because of social media.  I think we need to show them what connecting feels like because we are losing it.”

I ask myself, what is the real opportunity for shift in the short time that we have together?  

To share that we have much in common, and the radical reality I created for myself?  Yes.

And, based off of Ash’s beautiful observation, to share the power of basic human connection through yoga, to remind them of what is real in the body & what is real in the breath, and to provide a safe space for healing and restoration.

We are thankful to the community at Laughing Lotus NYC for hosting us for an hour long yoga class where I pray they will feel connected to themselves and each other, and even if just for a moment feel that a radical future is possible.

In service,

Ava

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