The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center (formerly The Bhaktishop) is deeply curated labor of love, bringing this great tradition of yoga as an agent of self and social change alive through integrated, intelligent practices, grounded and authentic spiritual study, therapeutic principles and a deeper and more inter-connected way to go about living life. We have been committed to this community through social activism since 2007, and care deeply about creating a sanctuary for all people to feel safe and welcome. In keeping with this commitment, we routinely engage in self- and community education around issues of inclusion, accessibility and justice. Here, we put people before profit, which turns out to be kind of a lousy business model but we are sticking to it.
This practice comes in so many forms, cultures and paths that it can be challenging at times to navigate. We believe that there is an ideal yoga practice for every single person and every unique intention, and we aspire to help you find an effective path to self-knowledge, service, inspiration, and fulfillment.
We absolutely believe that there are ways of participating in a yoga practice that doesn’t entirely comply with commercialization and capitalism. For example, we know you can practice yoga without a mat or fancy pants, without oppressive diets, MLM’s or fake “health” peddling, and without ridiculously loud music, impossible postures or high-speed class culture. We understand that yoga is a liberatory practice that is deeply internal, and that understanding this takes guidance. As students ourselves, we can work toward creating an intentional environment where we create relationships with folks who are interested in both the healing benefits of the practices as well as the community-building and decolonizing, revolutionary parts. If we are going to survive as a species, we need to continue to have spaces to meet, converse, share, grow, heal and learn and we have to learn to deepen connections by reaching for each other, not isolating. Yoga spaces that are properly oriented can serve this function for many of us.
We are first and foremost students of yoga ourselves. Yoga is an intrinsically individual discipline that requires a great variety of techniques to satisfy the great variety of individuals. We do not teach one particular style of practice here but instead strive to share the essence of yoga: the skillful combination of physical movement, conscious breathing, deep devotion, and concentration/meditation with the intention of bringing you closer to authentic knowledge of yourself. All of our teachers are unique and experienced in multiple fields of study, and we wholeheartedly embrace our many varying lineages and perspectives. Our united approach of embracing the varying perspectives of you, the student, helps provide conditions within each class for individual experience and meaning. We aim to honor and revere both you and yoga in all of its diversity, with an attitude of service and a willingness to allow ourselves to be taught every day by each one of you.
We also believe that yoga must be accessible to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural or religious orientation, immigrant status, gender identification, sexual orientation, income, size, age or ability; we work diligently to create a brave and accessible space for everyone. All of us are well-trained in strong bio-mechanical principles with a loving eye toward injury prevention and individualized attention, so we have your back, physically speaking. We offer you intelligent, detailed instruction in asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, Ayurveda, Restorative practices, Therapeutics with qualified instructors, Prenatal and Post-partum care, and many specialized workshops, including training teachers to be even better teachers. Our commitment is to furthering the conversation about yoga in our studio, your house, your community and beyond.
Equity and Inclusion Statement:
The community, business and teachers of The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center are deeply invested in staff training, meaningful self-education, and building the knowledge, skill and human resource necessary to invest in a more equitable business model. We're creating conversations about race, inclusion, fat-phobia, ableism, trauma-informed practices, and equity on a daily basis here, and aim to make use of these skills in a broader capacity in the yoga community. Our center and classes/events are mobility-device accessible, and while not all of our teachers are trained yet in deep accessibility for folks with disabilities, we are working toward this potential.
We have not always worked in these arenas, and even still, are making mistakes as we learn and try. We are open to your comments and suggestions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and are also willing to be held accountable in public for the ways that we have failed or caused harm. We are actively mentoring and training new teachers, while working to hire teachers of color and teachers from groups on the margins that have less representation in the yoga space. Relationships matter deeply to us here, and so we build those relationships first, which often takes time. Trust is important to earn, and to make changes in this realm takes time. We also acknowledge that all of the work that we have been doing on this may not be visible yet.