Thank you to Swami Jaya Devi, Bhava Devi and Agni Ma from Kashi Atlanta Urban Ashram in Georgia for beautifully hosting our first webinar of the year, with so much wisdom, love and clarity of purpose.
View the recording here;
The ashram’s location in the heart of the civil rights movement inspires their work and Swami Jaya Devi, Spiritual Director, shared around the following areas;
- How much does inner work matter?
- How do we use our spiritual practice to have an impact in our lives, our satsang, and serve our world?
- How can you create a more diverse community in your center?
In these pivotal times of Democrat Raphael Warnock becoming the first African American to be elected to the U.S. Senate in Georgia’s history, Swami Jaya Devi shared about the intensity of the experience there from a deep foundation of four decades of social activism and contemplative practice.
“Kashi Atlanta began with a clear intention to be a diverse center, rather than predominantly white, and train black yogi’s,” said Swami Jaya Devi. “This involved deep work to create a safe space. For the last decade 50% of people in deeper programming have been black and we experience a wide level of diversity in classes.”
How can this story inform the choices made within your center and be a catalyst for evolution?
“Yoga helped me overcome burnout and yet sharing yoga with middle class folk didn’t feel satisfying,” said Agni Ma, Head of Yoga Programs and a former civil rights attorney. “I felt compelled to help make yogic tools more widely accessible. We’ve developed a level of comfort and experience with diverse populations and teach yoga in jails, to first line responders and offer anti-burnout programs.”
Bhava Devi, Senior Teacher and Office Manager, shared how she’s still there at the ashram after 23 years because of the actuality of love. “I felt seen without being othered,” she said. “Kashi expanded around me and I got to share in that space. Meeting in the shared space of the soul. There is love and intent.” People come into the building with no interest in yoga and show up every chance they can for the opportunity to serve.
If you’d like to go deeper after watching the webinar…
Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson comes highly recommended. ‘The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power – which groups have it and which do not’.
Pop the dates of the 2021 webinars on your calendar. We look forward to connecting as together we strengthen our collective work to meet the needs of these times.