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Feminism, Yoga, Popular Culture and Academia. And probably more.
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love this:

Sun Salutation poster

This Pintrest has cute yoga images

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feministyogini
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Recently become interested in Do Terra

It is an essential oils company: local reps hold do terra nights at local businesses (ex workshops at my yoga studio). Overheard a fitness instructor say being a rep is a good opportunity because the company pays for things.

Question: is do terra the new Mary Kay/ Avon, and how does it intersect with a feminized natural living ethos? Fascinated by the idea that women are making "extra money on the side for their family" via a feminized idea of nature, purity, and healthy non-chemical living.

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feministyogini
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Will post mega update soon, but wanted to talk about a new thing that I am doing. In an effort to ensure I am at least a little active everyday, I go for a walk in the morning. It is at least 30 mins in length. I take my iPod with me and use the voice recorder feature to record thoughts for the day. This has helped tremendously with teaching prep. It is more creative to walk and plan class than it is to sit at my computer and freak out that I don't have a plan but must teach in 3 hrs.

We shall see how excited I am to do this once the weather gets cooler! It is certainly brisk in the mornings here, but overall it stays warmer than Ontario. I think it is a full 5-7 degrees warmer here than in the Toronto area right now. As someone who doesn't tolerate cold well, I am thrilled!

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feministyogini
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1/3 of the way into this movie, there's so much going on with racialized sexuality, reproduction, and citizenship.  Fascinating...  It is on Netflix if you're interested.    x-posted to fb.

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I opted to try something new for my new course called Transnational Feminisms. I DIY'd a mindmap on the wall, creating categories and writing readings/topics on post-it notes that could be read within that category. I drew arrows to indicate connections and therefore the possible flow of readings so one week seamlessly transitions to the next (a method that translates well from teaching yoga - one pose flows into the next). I have just over 1 week to finalize it, and I have to transcribe my wall tomorrow because I'm moving back to AZ on Monday. As always, I am way too ambitious. The sale of our house and my obligation to clear out the basement was a blessing and curse. It was a blessing because I thoroughly went through all materials I've ever read/taught that can be used in this course. If it was a useful reading, it became a wall sticky citation. It was a curse because I have far more on here than I need.  The sparse areas will be filled in over the next week and I'm going to create new categories from the mega-'other' category at the bottom (I have a lot on transnational parenting for instance)

I've really liked this method for course planning and I will use it in the future.


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(Some close-ups)

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feministyogini
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Just catching up on The River - watching eps 1 & 2.
I'm 20 mins in and my initial thoughts are:

a/ ABC is SO trying to re-create Lost;

b/ It's very Heart-of-Darkness-y and I'm worried it's going to replicate all sorts of problematic colonial tropes such as "going native", "mystical Global South", mystical-spiritual woman of colour, all the bad haunt-y things are deep in the jungle...

What made Paranormal Activity so interesting is that it played on the domestic sphere as being terrifying. 
This show.....hrm.

ETA - just watched ep 3 and yeah... this show is a total disappointment.  It's sad that viewers are supposed to be afraid of indigenous Amazonians as the "big bad of the week".  The mother character is a study in white colonial womanhood.  And even though there are characters of colour, I keep wanting to scream "you stupid white people!" 

I really wanted to like this show because I enjoy the Paranormal Activity franchise so much.  (Un)fortunately, I don't find jungle things scary.  I find the premise offensive.

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I am full of research ideas that I'll never have time to work on.  Here are 2 more:

1/ normalization of violence against women in vampire texts like True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Twilight and Buffy (visual versions of these).  Violence triggers in the clips.

I became most disturbed through watching The Vampire Diaries but it's a pattern that shows up in all of these texts.  Specific to TVD, Damon is held up as the tragic anti-hero vampire who will be "saved" by his love of a good woman.  However, prior to embarking on his hero-journey to romance (well, he's been on it for 2 seasons and looks like romantic payoff will be next year - thanks Kevin Williamson tv pattern), he's been a pretty crappy boyfriend to other women.  The way he treated Caroline was appalling - telling her she was stupid & worthless.  He fed on her, compelled her (dazzle - Twilight verse, glamour - True Blood verse), used her.  When she was in a daze at one point, she asked numbly if he was going to kill her and he nonchalantly said "mhm". 

While I love intertextuality (and Damon talking about vampires in popular culture), controlling bf behaviour 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le7ytrPdrtU&feature=related

This scene with Caroline is kinda awful too.  Pretty typical violent b/f here - covering up physical marks of violence  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NO-t0HGHI0

Then he was in a relatively equitable relationship with Andie (well, he was compelling her too) and their last scene together was so hard to watch as he attacks her, bites her and throws her out in her underwear. 

Scene is here:  violence triggers for reals though   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrVyHLPCyqA

The language and violence is straight-up VAW, and yet one wants to root for him because he's been damaged by love, emotionally abused by his father and suffered brotherly betrayal.  I really wonder how the director and actors envisioned this scene because it's realistically terrifying.  Of course, fans online were outraged because it was another instance of making Damon look like a carbon cut-out villain.  Some, though, were sympathetic to his behaviour (!) - "well he did tell her to leave earlier so she should have known better" and "he didn't kill her and instead compelled her to leave so he's evolving and this is character progression".  WTF!?!?!    I'll admit that I find Damon to be the most interesting character on the show and hello Ian Somerhalder!?   :)   Yet my feminist spidey-sense is really disturbed by it all.

2/ white bourgeois pregnancy photography.  How's that for a different direction?
This kind of stuff http://www.sophiafieldphotography.com/portraits/maternity/erica.html
http://www.sophiafieldphotography.com/portraits/maternity/karla_2.html

I remember when in it became more popular, when pregnancy chic exploded and there were many options for class-aspiring women - babymoons (another research project in the making!), belly plaster-casts, and this kind of photography. It screams bourgie whiteness to me.  Classical bound bourgeois body, attempt to sanitize the grotesque pregnant body.  I'm not an interviewer, though I think interviewing people who've done it would be a unique piece of research.  I'm interested to know what kind of cultural work it does.  It's just so ... weird to me.  Aesthetically beautiful?  Yes.  But also weird.

PS - Icon of Damon reading felt appropriate. 

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I've been reflecting on what it means to be a yogini and a person committed to social justice.  I feel like Michael Stone actually has answers for me.

If I vow to serve every corner of life, I begin to see that service begins in this body and spreads out from my kidneys to my family, neighborhood and the earth at large. Yoga is about waking up not just the body, but the body politic as well.

Here's his fantastic article on what it means to be committed to non-harm, meditation, social justice,and bear witness to violence at the G20 meeting in Toronto.  Plus he talks about his activist 6 year old son :) 

Article is linked here, http://rabble.ca/news/2010/11/meditations-ringed-fence-around-g20-toronto   
Thoughts are welcome!

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You guys, I'm totally freaked out by watching coverage of G20 protests.  Today I saw a video where my friends got shot at with rubber bullets and tear gas.  You can see it was a peaceful protest, and the police just started pushing them back and shooting (towards the end).  You can see another video here http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=1512684781074  

It is terrifying. 
I'm terrible in these environments, I just start shaking and want to cry.  That's how I feel watching it.  I'm too affected by negative energy, it makes me feel like a bad activist :(

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Current Location: my home office
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feministyogini
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Mostly because I wanted to document this somewhere, here are a few of the oracle cards I've drawn in the past 2 months:

From my deck:

"Have confidence" - You can do it! You have all of the ingredients you need to complete the mission ahead.

"The Ocean" - Spend more time near the sea or on vacation.  Drink more water.  Take sea-salt baths to detoxify.

"Steady Progress" - Look how far you've come and how much you've learned.  Appreciate the progress made so far instead of expecting perfection from yourself.  You're on the right path, even if it means moving slowly.

"Acceptance" - Don't try to control or change others.  Let go of tendencies to force things to happen and you'll receive your desired (or better) outcome more peacefully.  When one door closes, another door opens.

"Cleanse and Detoxify" - Eliminate chemicals and toxins.  Avoid toxic relationships or situations. 

"Be honest with yourself" - You've been hiding your true feelings.  Perhaps you are afraid to make the changes you know you need to make.  Trust your own feelings, even if others don't agree.  Avoid getting caught up in the illusion that "this is the way it is"

(and this one fell out of the deck right before I chose the above):  "Shower of Abundance" - The more you listen to your gut feelings, the more your financial situation will improve. Abundance takes many forms including having more time, opportunities or clear feelings. 

Cards from yoga teacher training decks:

"Ostara" - fertility - "It is the perfect time to start new projects, access new ideas, give birth to new conditions"

"Pele" - divine passion - "Be honest with yourself: What is your heart's true desire?"

"Retreat into Nature" - Green man - spend time alone outdoors, your vacation is valid.  Your life's purpose involves environmentalism or nature.  Work with natural healing methods.

"Follow Your Heart" - St. Francis - answer to your question is in your heart.  Trust your heart's desire and intuition.  You're guided to make important and happy life changes. 

"Intention" - clarify motivation, confirm they are aligned with highest spiritual values.  Clarify intent and create positive change.

Today's card from my deck:
"Acceptance" - see above, think positively.  Send love rather than negative energy.


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