Welcome to the accessible yoga Podcast where we explore how to make space for everyone in the yoga community.
Amber Karnes 13:20:16
This podcast is brought to you by the accessible yoga Association, a nonprofit organization focused on accessibility and equity in yoga.
Hi, I'm your host, Jivana Heyman, my pronouns are he and him, and I serve as the director of accessible yoga.
Amber Karnes 13:20:30
And I'm your co host, Amber Karnes, my pronouns are she and her and I serve as president of the accessible yoga board of directors. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the accessible yoga podcast. This is Amber Karnes, my pronouns are she and her. I'm here with Jivana. Hi,
how are you?
Amber Karnes 13:20:49
That's a complicated question these days in. This, I'm good. I have everything I need. I got my bank account is above zero. I'm healthy in this moment. Moment. So I can't complain. But in the long run, I have been struggling a little bit. I'm in the midst of some big life transitions. Yeah, I'm getting a divorce from my husband. We've been in relationship almost 20 years. And this week, I'm moving into my own place. And yeah, it's I mean, we're on really good terms, but it's still really hard and emotional. And I feel like I'm starting over in a lot of ways, but I'm grateful to be alive, and have the opportunity to start over.
Yeah, I know. I'm thinking so much about you. And it's it's a lot. It's a lot to go through. I mean, yeah. Although the part of living alone, that part sounds really good to me. Not to make light of it. But yeah, I know, right? Yeah. Now, I know, it's hard. It's hard when you've been with someone so long to imagine life without them, actually. Right. You know, my, my father in law just died. And, you know, I think my husband's parents, they were married for over 50 years. Just it's like, part of it is just routine. Like you just get so used to being with somebody and that's there becomes part of you a core part of the way you think it's almost I can see his mom was like, almost just can't imagine. Yeah. life now.
Amber Karnes 13:22:27
Right. You know? Yeah, I mean, I think in any kind of like, long term partnership relationship like that, whatever it is, you, you know, you grow into and around each other, you know, and you kind of grow up together. So, it's big changes, but, um, you know, with change comes new opportunities. We'll see how it goes. Yeah. How have you been?
I'm okay. Yeah, there's just a lot going on around here with that, with his passing. And then, you know, my daughter just being 16 and keeping me busy. And, you know, but I'm okay. I think it's kind of a sad moment for me, like in the US right now. Like, yeah, you know, with the conservative Supreme Court making some scary changes. But, you know, I'm also trying to keep calm, and keep calm and carry on, as they say, like, actually think about how to make change, like, what can I do personally, what can we do as an organization to actually address these issues rather than like, I'm, it was interesting. At first, I got so upset, like, I couldn't even think straight, I just watched myself get so angry, and anger is good, but I was really dysregulated. And I felt really, I just felt bad. Like, it almost made me feel sick. And I noticed how it was impacting my body and my mind, and I was like, Wait a minute. This is part of the way the system functions, which is to make us weaker. And so like, I guess, I've been thinking about that a lot. Like, how do I use my practice to make myself stronger, but being careful not to be bypassing not to be ignoring it and being like, Oh, it's okay. You know, it's gonna be okay. You don't I'm saying you don't I mean, like, I'm just trying to find that balance of like, self care and action.
Amber Karnes 13:24:29
For sure. I think for me, it's like, anger is always like, you know, pretty readily available emotion, but without direction. Often, I feel like it just kind of does more harm than good to me, You know what I mean? So I know what you mean. Like, there's that balance between like, feeling your feelings of the moment and acknowledging you know, that this is a big deal and also not becoming completely, you know, I guess like rendered motionless by those same emotions like we still have
Right, because it feels like it's like a double whammy. It's like you get the, you get this negative thing, this bad thing that's happening that's going to really impact other people and, and yourself, and it just feels really painful and upsetting. And then there's like your reaction to that thing, You know what I mean, and like that's either could be it can make stuff worse, you can make yourself feel worse. And I feel like, that's part of what, that's part of what people don't see, I think about having a marginalized identity, like how these kind of rules have this like, it's like a vicious cycle. And that's why I think you see so much around, I see a lot of yoga for People of Color around rest and restorative yoga. And like, that's why that's so important is just like, people who have a marginalized identity who are oppressed finding a way to care for themselves ourselves. I mean, as a Queer person, I feel that way. You know, there's some talk about taking away marriage equality. And it's like, I've been there before, like I was with Matt way before marriage is legal, and like, we did it. But it's just just so it's just that's not even the part that's upsetting to me. It's just more like, the fact that this country, it feels like there was some kind of evolution going on, like we were moving forward, and then it feels like we're going back again.
Amber Karnes 13:26:29
Well, I mean, you know, the things I've seen is like, shows that like, you know, the majority of Americans do support. Choice, the majority Americans do report reasonable gun laws and stuff like that, but our government system is broken. Like, clearly, if a non minority of opinion can sort of, like dictate the laws of the nation because of this loophole that we created a long time ago, like, how functional is the government really at representing the people it's supposed to represent? You know?
I mean, it's not it's not it's not upholding? It's just upholding it. That's what the government does, it upholds the current system. Yeah, you know, the status quo. And so that, mostly, I think, has to do with power and money. You know, but that's, it's so frustrating, because so many people will suffer and are suffering because of it. And it just, it's so infuriating. And I know I think about my daughter too. Well, both of my kids but for her right now with like, all that anti abortion garbage. And, you know, what is her What is her life can be like? In any anyone who is forced to have a pregnancy, it just, it's unbelievable. To me. And like I you know, one thing I'll say about that about the whole anti choice thing is that I adopted two kids, you know, adoption is not the answer, like I've hear some people say that on the right, you know, just put the kids up for adoption. And that's such bullshit. Because it's just not like that. Yeah, it's not like that adoption is. Well, we did free adoption. But adoption can be expensive. Having kids is expensive. Anyway, look at it. It's not simply the answer to abortion is a bullshit argument. And adoption is great when it works out for people, but it is also very complex. I mean, I could say a lot more about adoption, but yeah. Yeah.
Amber Karnes 13:28:41
So how are you coping? Like, do you grounding you do you like what do you tend to do and everything? So
yeah, actually, I've been practicing more, you know, like, that's what I was kind of starting with, I was saying that I was feeling guilty about it at the same time, because I'm like, Oh, am I just doing this to avoid my painful feelings, but really, I've been trying to take care of myself. So I have been doing I've been really trying to find time for all of it for meditation, Asana and exercise and like, you know, well, you and I both know, we love biking and like, that's become an essential part of my practice now is like getting on my bike every day or almost every single day. To be out in nature. And, yeah, I wrote a blog for accessible yoga last week about how when I was biking the other day, feeling so bad. And then I just kind of looked up at the sky, and I just had this moment of like, who like the immensity of Sky and Space? Um, I gotta know, all those amazing photos are coming out from NASA, you know, right. It's just, it kind of puts it in perspective. And again, that can be kind of a bypass II thing, right? Like avoiding it, but also, it's the truth. And the truth is we're part of something much larger. And sometimes that helps me get in my head. And I, I wrote that I was writing about How when a Patanjali sutras about actually booked to number 47, it talks about the way to practice Asana is by reducing our natural tendency for restlessness and meditating on the infinite. And that always kind of had a lot of meaning for me, because I feel like when I can get to that space of like something bigger, it helps me to feel calmer, it helps my mind. Quiet down. Do you know what I mean?
Amber Karnes 13:30:41
I do like that. Yeah, it's like, zoom out during what am I doing? Oh, my God.
Yeah, what are you doing to care for yourself. Um,
Amber Karnes 13:30:53
I feel like, you know, the news is definitely in my face. But it's also kind of in the background as I just like, deal with my immediate life right now. And a lot of like logistics of, of what's going on at the end of this relationship. But I also, I've kind of tried to just double down on like, really basic stuff, like drinking water and getting sleep, you know, remembering to eat, just so I can like kind of function. But I've also found that like, for me, it's funny, you said zoom out, because I kind of like zoom in. And that when stuff feels overwhelming, like the stuff that's going on at the national level, I kind of like, have become more locally involved. As far as like, I don't know, my activism is looking a little different. And you know, getting love Are
you do? Let's talk wait. So I know you're raising money for somebody? Well,
Amber Karnes 13:31:48
I mean, it's kind of funny. Like, I like you said, ride bikes a lot. And so I've really become sort of like, deeply immersed in the bike culture here in Baltimore. And if you follow me on Instagram, you will notice it's all by content. Not just having fun all the time. But that's, yeah, I'm like,
What do you say? No, seriously, like, what are people saying to you? Because I'm like, wow. But it's like Amber's bike reels.
Amber Karnes 13:32:14
They aren't saying anything to me. No, no, I feel like my account is just turned into Baltimore. But it's fine. It's the only part of my life I can deal with right now. So that's what I'm showing y'all. But no, for real. I've gotten to know a lot of the people here, and a lot of them our kids. They're like middle school and high school kids who are these amazing athletes. But you know, it's like, it's become this little like, local community. And these kids like ask us for help and need a mirror help and I think, are really sort of like, the kids of Baltimore, I feel like there's a lot of like, hate toward them, whether they're like the squeegee kids on the corner, or the kids that ride bikes, or whatever. And I don't know, I feel like the world that we are, like, we've kind of messed this world up for these kids. You know what I mean? Like the world that like, if I think about, I don't know, I didn't grow up with active shooter drills in school. And I didn't know, I didn't have like the looming threat of climate change and the way that these kids do, you know, it's like, so for me, I don't know, like, I've really found myself kind of trying to look out for them and build capacity for these kids and make connections for them when I can, because I remember I don't know, when I was a kid involved in like, punk and hardcore, like, one adult with a few 100 bucks could have like, made the whole difference for like, all of us that we're trying to, like, do something together. And so I don't know, I'm kind of like on the lookout for those types of opportunities in and starting a few little things locally that I don't want to talk about. Yeah,
that's amazing. I mean, because like, I think that's the best kind of activism. Yeah, is connecting with your local community and people who, like your neighbors, you know, and while yourself, your family, your neighbors like, we need to start there. It doesn't have to be like, this giant thing. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's how you make a huge impact, though. Locally, like that. I love it. I love what you're doing. So
Amber Karnes 13:34:26
I don't quite know where the end of that is or where it's going. But I'm trying to, you know, keep focus on where I can affect change, because a lot of times it feels like, we're powerless to do so. You know,
right. Right. But like if you can help a few kids around there, that's amazing. Yeah. The impact you can have. Yeah, I think. I mean, I love it. I love your real account.
Amber Karnes 13:34:59
Yo, honestly, you are calling
it when I'm in as it's Amber's reel of wheels,
Amber Karnes 13:35:05
wheel reels really off reels and wheels. Oh god. I have none of them ever listen to this. So be so embarrassed.
I'm sure. I doubt they will seems like a different, different communities but
Amber Karnes 13:35:20
definitely is that we can ever listen to a podcast or know what one is and be like, Can y'all get to the point?
Yeah, all right. Oh my God, I know teenagers. I got one. I got one myself. Keeping me real keeping me honest. Yeah. No, I love that. It's it's great to work with young people. Oh, I tell you, I had a dream about you that you're teaching high school.
Amber Karnes 13:35:51
You know, it's funny. The other day my mom told me that I should be a school teacher since I wanted to work with the youth. And I was just like, I can. I don't think I'm cut out for that. But I respect very much.
Yeah, especially these days, right.
Amber Karnes 13:36:07
I know. Y'all are amazing. And I don't want your job real clear. I
know, I know. And now you have to like, learn how to protect kids from armed invaders to it's like, What about just teaching them? Yeah. Oh, my God.
Amber Karnes 13:36:25
So I'm saying this world is not set up for them to be successful. So we got to do what we can when we can for the youth? Anyways.
Yeah, I mean, I guess I expected more from my generation. Like, I remember when we were kids, we were doing that punk stuff. And now it's like, we're in charge. And we're just letting the status quo keep going. It's like is that what happens that you get old and you get conservative and you start worrying about money and power and all that. And it's makes me sad, because I really had hope for my generation. Changing the world. I know, a lot of people have done great work, but I feel like we're still in the same place. Yes, in the US
Amber Karnes 13:37:04
are there is these cycles, and we're about to go back into one that is not Oh, God, no.
Yeah. Oh, boy. Okay, so let's change the subject. I just
Amber Karnes 13:37:16
the world is a dumpster fire, and what are we talking about on the podcast?
Well, we're trying our best to uplift interesting stories and educate ourselves and our listeners around, you know, kind of compelling information and educators working in this world of accessible yoga, which really is about what we're talking about, you know, it's about connecting yoga to these issues that we're actually facing in our lives, you know, like, climate change, and racism and power imbalances. And I feel like we've been doing that pretty good. This is our, this is our season wrap up episode. I guess, if people don't know that already. It's been an amazing season. I mean, it kind of it feels like it's been a bit all over the place. But also, I know that there's some real themes that have come through,
Amber Karnes 13:38:20
right. Yeah. One of the themes that we were talking about this season was community care, and how that applies in a lot of ways. Like we talked about it in the context of COVID. But also in, like sharing power with your students, and the idea of collaboration within community.
Well, like I just want to say that related to what you're talking about with your bike community there in Baltimore, it's like, there's something about being with a group of people, and then finding a way to kind of grow together and support each other that I feel like happens within yoga classes to if we allow it to, and I think it kind of depends on the teacher. Like, right, you know, Can you can you be in a space? Can you create a space in yoga that fosters growth and collaboration and exploration versus come into a space? Where, where it's really just about this, like, top down teaching? Yes. Kind of boring? To me. Yeah.
Amber Karnes 13:39:28
And I mean, I think that, you know, over the past couple of years, like so many things have shifted and changed about yoga. And I'm hoping that this is one of the things that shifted direction is that as we I think like the more yoga has moved online, or you know, had to move into more creative venues because studios have shut down or whatever, right? Like that. is tough, but it also fosters this sense of creativity and I think, a lot more sort of buy in from students that have either stayed with the community and had to pivot along with whatever the teacher was doing or have helped to co create whatever new thing is, you know, and I've been really interested to see like how that shifted a little bit from this sort of like, yoga celebrity teacher, you know, person in the spotlight sort of model, right, where it's like, we follow this person who, you know, it's a celebrity sort of thing versus like, the types of leaders that kind of lead from the back and like the community is the thing. Yeah. Which I think is a really cool thing about the accessible yoga community, because a lot of a lot of us have been teaching that way. And and thinking that way, and now to see things I think, I don't know if it's like a sea change, but maybe it is to see,
I think it is. But it's like, it's hard to know whether we're just in the middle of it. So that's all we see. But I've been really trying to explore what's out there. Especially through social media, like I've been following a lot of the accounts that are the very extreme āsana accounts, and I've been having, I don't know if you've seen on my Instagram reels I've been playing with that mixing
Amber Karnes 13:41:15
thing. Yeah. Do you want to talk about that for a second for people? Yeah,
it's like, I just had this idea that one day, I was, I came across one of those accounts, and I had this strong feeling of like, almost frustration like that. This is what people are seeing. And I just think, Oh, God, if people still think that's yoga, when we can make it anything we want, like, we can make it work for us. And so I thought, oh, I can see I just learned about re mixing. And I started doing that with with some other accessible yoga friends. We were doing, I was doing these chair yoga poses and then asking them to remix them. So I just I asked Kino McGregor, who I kind of know, I reached out to her and like, can I remix your reel? And she's like, Sure. And so I took one of her like real complex ones on the beach. And I did it in a chair. And it was so fun. And now I just can't stop. But I don't know. I don't know if it's that helpful. But I wanted to show like that. yoga is an internal practice. You don't have to be a gymnast to practice, right? Literally, actually, it's been funny. I've been. So I've been following a lot of these accounts now. And a big number of them are actually contortionists. Like they actually say that yoga and contortionist. And I was like, Oh, wow, that's like really honest, you know, like, I was like, totally into that. And I also have been admiring them. I'm like, That is some serious stuff they're doing, you know, like, I kind of push it to the side. Like, that's intense. Like they're really pushing their bodies on. Like, that's kind of amazing. And so I guess I guess I wanted to, I want to embrace all of it, like, I'm not wanting to be against them. And also, so many of them like I reached out to them. Usually, when I remix their reels, I've done probably about 10 of them now. There's almost all them are just so sweet. And like, Oh, thank you. And like, that's so cool. And they've shared it or something like I got a woman today, it was just like, so excited that I remixed her really intense real, like, that's so sweet. Like I don't I'm saying like we have this false binary, that those like two yoga worlds. And I really think it's more just like we're in this moment of, I don't know what you call it. Contemporary yoga. That is like very complex world. It's a very complex yoga world, with lots of different things going on. And I think actually, the majority of what's going on is what you were just talking about, which is people in their local communities, either online or in person, running group classes, bringing people together and sharing their love of yoga. And I think that story is not being told enough. And it does feel like a sea change. I don't feel like there are these huge yoga stars that are leading anymore. Like I don't, I mean, I'm not following them. I don't know. And I hope that accessible yoga has been part of that in terms of Yeah, democratizing the practice, you know?
Amber Karnes 13:44:21
Yeah, I like that term. I know, you've used that before when talking about accessible yoga. And I agree, like, I think demonizing you know, people that can do advanced Asana, like defeats the purpose. And it's not like any form that you make with your body is, you know, morally good or bad. But it's like, you know, I think for a long time, that was held up as like, this is the way it's supposed to look, this is the only way it's supposed to look, if you're not here, you're not doing the yoga or whatever those misconceptions and I think, you know, accessible yoga in the people that are part of this community and our colleagues have really like done a lot to push the conversation toward, like, actually yoga is not just one thing, but it can be all All these things right? Like it can be, it can look a lot of different ways. And we don't want to, like you said, like get so stuck on the binary of like, it always has to be gentle or it always has to be practice from a chair because there's like, so many other things that you could do. And I love how you've been showcasing that on Instagram with the remixes, which for those of you that are not on Instagram, it's like someone's video, and then Jivana kind of does a riff off of that next to it on the same video. Y'all have to go check it out.
I can't stop. Like my daughter was helping me that's the other thing. It was really fun because she showed me how to do it. Like you have to be 16 to figure out these things. And like, she showed me like, Oh, here's how you do it. And and she was editing them for me and like we're doing it together, which was really fun. And then she told me yesterday, she's like, You're doing too many you need to stop.
Amber Karnes 13:46:00
She, there's social media, get real.
But I'm like, I really love it. It's so much fun. Like, I'm addicted. I love it. But okay, so the But there's another side of this, which is I think something we talked about this season, which is sometimes I think accessible yoga is a little misunderstood. And I feel like there's this overuse of the term, it's almost become like, mainstreamed, you know, it's where it loses its meaning. Yeah, like everyone's using the hashtag accessible yoga and things aren't necessarily accessible. And that's a whole nother story. But I mean, there's that also, there's this idea that accessible yoga is a way to like, get your non conforming students to fit into like some weird box, right? You know what I mean? Like, oh, we want you to fit in with us. So you can we'll make yoga accessible to you. So you can do what we're all doing. And that's not the point, right? It's about everyone being equal in this space, and everyone being having equal power and being seen. Right, and also letting go of this idea of physically more advanced being more advanced.
Amber Karnes 13:47:18
Right? Yeah, I think that the way that you know, ableism shows up in the world, right, where we have this sort of like, no pain, no gain, we should do the most advanced version of whatever it is that we're doing, you know, this sort of like binary of, well, I think is connected to capitalism, I think it's connected to all these things where like, our productivity, or what we can do, or our ability is connected to, like how worthy we are. And I think we're trying to flip that on 10. And say, you know, it's not necessarily about doing the most or I don't know, lifting your leg the highest or whatever, that actually a lot of times people with disabilities, or marginalized marginalized identities or whatever people that have been underestimated, let's say in the, in the world of yoga, or even, you know, wider than that in the world of like sports, and fitness, and wellness, and all of that are often some of the biggest innovators that we have, right? Like, I know, whenever I have led an accessible yoga training, or worked with a group of people who, you know, we're very, like, diverse in our differences, I always learned something new, I always see something that I've never thought of before, because I know I'm not in that body, I don't have that lived experience, necessarily in the same way. And so I really just think that so many of us realize that like the asset that it is to have people in our community who are who live a different experience than we do, because they're going to bring fresh ideas and perspectives and innovate in ways that we can't even imagine.
Right? We actually celebrate conformity when it's so boring. And what's more exciting is difference. And, like, the way you don't fit in, that's the like, I feel like I'm really working on that myself. Like I, you know, how can I celebrate the things that are different about me, rather than how I'm the same? I think that's been huge for me personally, and I'm still working on it. But I feel like that's so healing on such a deep level to embrace that. And I know for me and my students like I totally agree like that when I every time I would run a training, I would see some new innovative way to practice I've never seen before. And that's after teaching for I mean, I've been teaching for almost 30 years. And it's still incredible to me that people can be so creative. And I love that. I get excited when someone comes in and they show me something else or they put act, isn't it or move their body in a different way. You know, that's exciting. Right? You know, it's like doing it the same. Boring,
Amber Karnes 13:50:15
we seen it, let's see something new.
And the same for me in my practice, like I really work on that, like, what do I value in my own practice? Like when I'm moving all by myself or doing some poses? What am I trying to find? You know, am I trying to like conform? Or am I just exploring and playing around you know, and it really changes my practice to let go sometimes that those externals so what else what else have we talked about this season, Amber, that has stuck in your mind anything.
Amber Karnes 13:50:54
I mean, I think another theme that maybe we always touch on but keeps coming up is the idea of ways to keep our students safer. Safety is always I think, at the front of our minds, most of us yoga teachers and, and inclusion, even though we don't really use that word, too much. Inclusion, I guess, implies there's group we're including you in but equity and, you know, finding ways to make sure that everybody that is participating in the class, the community event, whatever has equal or no is seen equally has equal power, or has the same opportunity and invitation to experience everything so that that's something that keeps coming up.
Yeah, it's I mean, we had some amazing guests who were talking about some of them. You know, recently I interviewed Matthew Sanford, that was an incredible conversation. I hope people go back and listen to him. He's, he's just like, I don't know what the word is almost like a poet. Like he'll just say something. And I'm like, what, like, what do you say? He said something in that episode about? I can't remember. And it was like, hug, not hug the tree but like, be the tree like be near a tree and then let yourself be the tree or something. I was just like, why are you talking about? Like, he's just like, blows my mind. But he's so so deep in that way. It's, he's beautiful. I also got to interview Nicola Devi, who was one of my first teacher so it was really fun. And then some people have new books out like Octavia Rahim and Jacoby Ballard. I think we had Michelle Cassandra Johnson her the new edition of skill and action had just come out. Who else?
Amber Karnes 13:52:46
Reggie Hubbard we we replayed his keynote from our accessible yoga conference. Oh my god, I love him talking about politics and whether or not they belong in yoga. Spoiler alert, we think they do.
Yeah, like, I feel like, there's a lot of great conversations. And podcasts is so much fun. Like, it's good. It's a really great thing to be able to talk to all these people and to share their work with the world. So I hope people will go back and just scan through this season and see if there's something that seems interesting to them. Yeah,
Amber Karnes 13:53:27
we're gonna we'll link to all the topics in the guests that we mentioned when in the show notes. So definitely click over the website, if you're like subscribed and listening to this, because there's a lot of links to the stuff we've been talking about. Yeah, so you want to talk about what's coming up. With accessible yoga, the podcast is going to take a short break after this episode, probably for at least like a month or two. Will summer break. And we'll be back in September. But before we do that, what's what's new and accessible yoga? Well,
the biggest thing that's happening is we're we've created our own online portal. It's the accessible yoga community. So your new software system, and what we're trying to do is create kind of a destination for people. Rather, I think what's happened is like, we've grown quickly, but over a long period of time, and so our online presence is a bit scattered, and we're trying to really consolidate it into one platform. So coming up in a few weeks, we're going to be launching it publicly. It's going to come out for our ambassadors first and then to the public. Just this it's like a new online space where we can connect and communicate with each other. And where people can access all of our programming so people can find our well they can find the podcast, this podcast will be there, find our blog, they can find our free community forums, which is a monthly conversation on our monthly theme. They can communicate with each other. There's kind of like a,
Amber Karnes 13:54:59
like a private social network kind of right.
Yeah, exactly. I don't want to say but a private social network to move away from some of those other social networks that are a bit Have a, I don't know,
Amber Karnes 13:55:09
a bit overbearing on our privacy?
Yeah, I mean, we'll still be over there a bit. But we'd like to shift to this own place, or people who are really interested in accessible yoga can kind of find a safer, quieter home, yeah, to have conversations about these topics of accessibility and equity and yoga,
Amber Karnes 13:55:30
and hopefully be able to connect with one another to because, you know, I think that the networking sort of capabilities of this private space we're creating will be more so than the, the Facebook group on its own.
Yeah, I mean, exactly, I think it'll spark conversations in a different way. So there'll be a place for our ambassadors who are members that support us, thank you ambassadors out there, if you're listening, and we love you, and you keep us afloat. You know, and y'all, we can put a link in about the ambassador program, you can, you know, join, to become a member and get free access to our monthly programs, and other special perks, including monthly meetups and mentor sessions, with incredible people focusing on, you know, professional education, professional growth, stuff like that continuing education. And then the other new thing we're doing is within that new online community, the accessible yoga community, we're gonna have a studio, so it'll be an online studio, where people can study with you and me and all of our not all, but a lot of our other community members will have content there. So it'll be a place where people can find dedicated, accessible yoga content, to explore and practice with themselves and with their friends and family, and their students. And I'm excited about that, and the possibilities that it will create for us. Now, I feel like there's a lot of potential growth there for us as an organization,
Amber Karnes 13:57:10
definitely. And, you know, I think it's very exciting to think about having a online yoga studio channel, whatever, where it is all accessible yoga content, you know, folks can seek that stuff out themselves. And, of course, there's a few teachers who have their own channels. But, you know, we're hoping to feature, you know, when we start to feature some of the folks that y'all maybe already know, from the accessible yoga community, some of our board members and other teacher leaders, but our hope is that as we go along, we'll be able to showcase folks that people haven't heard of, that are doing amazing work in their own communities, and with their own, you know, affinity groups and populations and everything that will, we'll be able to have really some specialized content that you can't find anywhere else. And that's going to be really useful and practical to not only to students or whoever wants to practice with it, but I think to teachers who want to learn like new and creative ways to build community and, and foster this sort of like individuality within community that we've been talking about.
Yes, it's gonna be awesome. And again, that's gonna launch in the next few months. So look out for that. And we also have, we continue, we are continuing with our monthly themes. August will be yoga, environmental, and environmental justice, which I'm very excited about. So we can learn more about that connection between yoga and the environment and the importance of that. Right now. September's theme is yoga and cancer. And then in October, we have our yearly conference, which will be online, the accessible yoga conference online, the theme this year is going to be moving from me to we, which is really about that community care you've been talking about. And we have some amazing presenters. I can mention a few of them. I can't. Not everyone signed contracts, but I know that we're going to have people like Susanna Barkataki Tejal Patel, Nikki Myers. After the combined list, to Drake, Chetna Mehta, I don't know if you know her. And Ingrid Yang, lots of other incredible people, you know, probably 3040 presenters, sharing on all aspects of yoga and accessibility. Oh, and then even more exciting, well, not more exciting, but also, right before the conference, I will not conference is going to be October 14 through 16th. And basically you can even if you can't join live or come to all of it, you get access to all the content for a year. So if you sign up, you'll still get access to it later. But just before we begin on Friday evening, October 14, two, we're going to have a that afternoon we'll have a free pre conference intensive on increasing accessibility with a really great panel of teachers. Most people who have disabilities themselves themselves, Matthew Sanford, Ryan McGraw, Donna Noble and Natalia Tiberio. And I'll be moderating, and it's gonna be a really amazing couple hours really reflecting on accessibility and yoga. And that's a free event that people anyone can join. So I hope people will join us for that as well.
Amber Karnes 14:00:28
That's a star studded cast. You have their
exciting group? Yeah, excited. Yeah, so there's lots of exciting things coming up. I mean, we always have our blog, we have these podcasts, you know, we got a lot going on. Maybe too much, honestly. But
Amber Karnes 14:00:48
there's no reason not to get involved. Because I feel like we have something for everyone.
Yeah, I mean, I want to thank our incredible staff, I just want to say who put it all together, like, I can maybe say, you know, Brina, Robin, Deanna tan, Garrett, and Tiff. Thank you all so much. Thank you, Sarah, also, for helping with Facebook. We got a beautiful group and also amazing board. So thank you to our board for making this all possible. Oh, I had another thought. You know, going back to that studio for a minute, and we're creating this new online studio, not only will this be an online studio dedicated to accessibility, but it's also run by a nonprofit. And I'm not sure there's really any kind of nonprofit online studio focused on this out there in the world that night. I think that's special, because we're not going to be profit oriented. Our goal is education. And that's our mission really is we're an educational organization. So I feel like we can we can create a platform that's a little different than others. Because of that, and I think we're doing it already. But I'm excited to grow into these new ways. Yeah, definitely. And then what about you, Amber, what's up with you? I know that you're, I hate to say
Amber Karnes 14:02:08
your term is. I know I'm expiring. I've been on the accessible yoga board for four years, and I've been President for two years. And so it's time to literally and figuratively pass the mic. So that's going to happen. October is the official end of my term, and I will be the last blast. me as president will be the opening of the accessible yoga conference. And I'm excited to punish you all with another DJ set for our dance. But yeah, I I'm going to be stepping down as president and very excited to be welcoming Anjali Rao in as our new incoming president. She's been serving as Vice President for the past year, I guess. And has guest hosted one podcast, maybe more, yeah, already. So Anjali is going to be joining Jivana on the podcast, to really like add her vision as far as where she sees the organization going, as President of the Board the board, you know, for those of y'all that don't really, you know, get to in the nitty gritty of how this organization runs, like it's really collaborative effort between the board and the staff, and the board, you know, has a lot of a lot invested in the direction of the organization and the topics and the speakers, then how we choose to get the message out, and then our staff makes it happen. And so I'm really excited to have Anjali driving things and pushing forward, you know, some of these conversations that I'm really grateful to have been a part of over the last four years, or, you know, before that, too, in my own teaching at work. And so, um, yeah, it's sad to be leaving, but I'm not leaving, I'm still going to, I'm going to join as an ambassador and continue to be part of all the accessible yoga events and things like that, but just in a little bit of a different role, but more behind the scenes. And so, I'm just so grateful for the time that I've been able to contribute to this organization and the amazing friendships that I've made and colleagues that I've gotten to know and my amazing students and people that have studied with me that are now leading in this space, like it's super exciting to see the work move forward like that. And when I first started blogging about Body Positive yoga, like more than a decade ago, I did not think that it would be you know, that fat Yogi's would be in Gatorade ads and in Nike ads and you know, like not that that's like the, I guess, litmus test of success. But what I'm saying is this calm reception in the yoga world has been pushed from, like we were talking about that sort of top down yoga celebrity teaching situation to. Now, like you said, accessible yoga has become mainstream, right body positivity has become mainstream to where like it's even being co opted and like, to me, that does mean something that means that there has been significant change. Whenever the capitalist start to notice that they can make money off of a marginalized population, we know that at least, we've gotten that into the conversation, right? And so it's really, it's really interesting and amazing for me to see, like the ways that the conversation has changed from sort of like, you know, at very basics, fat people can do yoga, disabled people can do yoga to now like a lot of marginalized people are leading in this space and in this industry. And I don't think that's an accident. You know, we were talking earlier about how people with different lived experience people who are underserved and underestimated by, say, the mainstream of any system, whether that's yoga and wellness, or any anything else, are often our greatest innovators. And so yeah, of course, it doesn't surprise me that this community has pushed forward through COVID, that we've figured out ways to pivot in a lot of a lot of cases and where some people haven't, and I think that, that
existing in a body and identity, you know, a lived experience that we're away is not always made for you means that you make your own way, and you have to be creative, and you have to be resourceful. And that I think shows leadership, and that shows the depth of understanding of this practice. And so I've been really grateful to be part of that community. And I'm so excited to see the new directions that these conversations are gonna go and that accessible yoga will go I think the the online studio is super exciting. I'm really excited to be making some content for that soon and to help kick it off. And yeah, yeah, like, Well,
I'm not gonna let you leave so easy, by the way, so I mean, I'm sure you'll be back here. Yeah. I'm afraid so I'm gonna keep calling
Amber Karnes 14:07:36
me I don't usually say no to you, but
thankfully, yeah. Well, thanks, Amber. Thanks for everything and for, for this great season. And thanks, everyone, for
Amber Karnes 14:07:49
listening. Yeah, thanks for tuning in to our rant.
I hope you'll join us again next season and join us, you know, at the new accessible yoga community online. Or just somewhere else, follow us on Instagram or play. Hi. We'll see y'all on there. All right. Thanks, Sandra, talk to you soon. Okay, bye. Okay, bye. Thanks for joining us for the accessible yoga podcast. We're so grateful to be in community with you.
Amber Karnes 14:08:18
Please check out our website accessible yoga.org. To find out more about our upcoming programs, including our annual accessible yoga conference. At our website. You can also learn more about how to become an accessible yoga ambassador and support the work that we're doing in the world.
Please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review wherever you listen. We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Amber Karnes 14:08:37
You can also submit a question or suggest a topic or potential guests you'd like us to interview at accessible yoga.org See you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai