At the intersections of yoga, mindfulness, feminism, & social justice.
What do all these things have in common? So many things. They are ways of living. Ways of asking questions. Ways of finding authenticity and wholeness in who we are. Ways of unlearning who we are told we should be. Ways of relating to one another.
And each deepens the other.
I had been teaching and writing about feminism for years. It empowered me and my students. Especially the intersectional feminism I practice that understands gender in its relation to other facets of our identities: race, class, sexuality, national identity, immigration status, culture, dis/ability.
But I also found that as empowered as my students became intellectually and politically, there were still the deep challenges of holding that in our bodies. They would still be in toxic relationships to themselves and others. I began to search for a more embodied social justice.
Yoga and mindfulness were the paths to that wholeness for me. They are not the only ways to get there. But they offered rich, profound questions and insights, along with inspiring parallels. Both feminism and yoga are dynamic practices that we live, moment to moment, day to do.
My work now deeply integrates yoga, mindfulness, feminism and social justice in order to enable a more embodied social justice to explore ways for a more holistic and compassionate path to a more just world.
Beth's official bio:
Beth Berila, Ph.D., 500-hr RYT is the Director of the Women's Studies Program and Professor in the Ethnic and Women's Studies Department at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She is also a 500-hr registered yoga teacher and an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist who completed her 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training program at Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness. She is the author of the book Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy: Social Justice in Higher Education (Routledge), and the co-Editor, along with Melanie Klein and Chelsea Jackson Roberts, the anthology, Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis(Rowman & Littlefield). She has partnered with Off the Mat, Into the World and with the Yoga and Body Image Coalition to address issues of inclusion and exclusion in the U.S. yoga world. Her current projects merge yoga and meditation practices with feminism and mindful education to create a form of embodied social justice.
OTHER YOGA TEACHER TRAININGS COMPLETED:
Restorative Yoga I Teacher Training Devanadi, Minneapolis.