Can Shamanism Make Us Better Yoga Teachers?

Can Shamanism Make Us Better Yoga Teachers?

In our most recent episode of Talking Yoga, master teacher Kelly Morris describes the impact of shamanistic healing practices on her own life and her role as a yoga instructor.

Kelly credits shamanism, which has been practiced by indigenous peoples around the world for ages, with helping her discover a closer relationship with the divine, which in turn she attempts to do with her students. Rather than treat her students like bonsai trees, carefully trimmed and formed to someone else’s expectations, she treats every student like a snowflake and encourages them to understand their own deeply private and unique relationship with the divine.

On a more universal level, though, comes the recognition that women and the planet are the wellspring of life, and that both are being exploited to the detriment of all of us. Kelly talks about how Christians told everyone that their own creation stories were wrong, vilifying Eve, distancing us all from Eden, and reducing life here on Earth to a mere stepping stone to someplace else, one not worth preserving or cherishing.

Which brings us to this week’s Talking Yoga discussion: Have you ever explored shamanism, either on a personal level or as a path of exploration for your students and your classes? Do you think that more recent, organized religions have overwritten ancient beliefs about our relationship to “Mother Earth” and have contributed to the global extermination of women, the attack on women’s reproductive rights, and even women’s place in society?

Tell us what you think, right here in the comments below, or in the discussions about this episode on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to include the hashtag, #ShamanismFeminism.
And be sure to watch or listen to our most recent episode, “Reclaiming Our Selves and Our World, with Kelly Morris” available now on our website, iTunes and our YouTube channel.