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Queer Jai: Yoga for All (Happy Pride!)

We often have a tendency to think of yoga as one thing — asana. But inquiry into yoga will quickly lead you to understand that there are many yogas and that the practice of yoga is composed of many limbs. Yoga, in fact, is a verb meaning to yoke, or to bring together. So while the practices of yoga themselves are many, the goal is unity.

Every being — human or otherwise — is also composed of many limbs and organs, each of which must be healthy to create a healthy, thriving whole. Communities are like this, too — composed of many, each with their own role to play and each in need of vitality to play their role in the whole.

We often talk about queer community as though it were somehow separate from the community as a whole, but in fact queer people are an integral part of the human community. Whether you know it or not, your yoga community, your sangha, is composed of many queer people — teachers, students, seekers. For us to become healthy, whole, and thriving, every member must be able to thrive.

Our work as yogis is not just to bring together the disparate parts of ourselves to come to personal yoga, but to ensure that every member of our community has the same opportunity.

At this moment, the vitality of queer and trans people is being diminished. It is under attack by lawmakers, by hate, by separation. If we are to come to yoga, we must work together to heal the wounds society inflicts upon queer people. Queer Jai is both a celebration of the gorgeous diversity of our community and a movement towards bringing us all together in union, in yoga.

Proceeds from Queer Jai will go to The Real Name Campaign, a New Orleans-based grassroots organization working to ensure the safety and liberty of queer and trans people in New Orleans.

A gay pride flag is waved during a pride parade. It hangs over the street, taking up the center of the shot with a crowd in the blurred background.

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