In Response to Straight Outta Compton

It is an art form. It is the hauntingly beautiful tension of people who crave lightheartedness and fun but have been handed circumstances that are anything but. As a Chicago Tribute author wrote, “The N.W.A’s rhymes were obscene. But so were the conditions that gave rise to the songs.” It shouts the stories of people we usually…

Who Do You Love?

Ask the important questions and skip the garbage. If you only had one question to ask everyone you meet, what would it be? The right question can elicit so much more than a one-word response. What’s your name? Where’re you from? – – – – – Who do you love? Mom, Dad, cousin, BFF, brother-from-another-mother,…

Why is Money Scary?

I’m afraid of finance because all of my life, any time someone mentioned money, savings, or stocks, the adults in the room would groan slightly and slump into their seats. On top of that, only seven states have highly rated financial literacy programs integrated into their school systems, so it’s really no wonder that I just struggled to…

Cashews in Kerala

Just a bump in the road led my bus to a cashew factory, where most of the women worked to husk cashews by hand, often sitting on the ground. To a U.S.-born girl who had never even walked into a factory in her home state, the conditions looked less than ideal. Every worker, mostly women,…

When Empathy Hurts

My professor asked us to think about what things make us uncomfortable; those “buttons” that, when pressed, make it difficult for us to cope as we normally do.

Aggression was my first thought. Violence has always made me shiver. Second, though, came something more specific: I am deeply uncomfortable when I am unable to hide my privilege.

If You Are White, This Is for You

If you are white, this title doesn’t sound strange to you. Many things are reserved for only you; not just if your skin is lighter but if you are male, heterosexual, cisgendered, wealthy or educated. You have been given a privilege and… you are obligated to act. You do not need to feel bad for…

Born for This

Just over twenty years of life led up to that moment. My brother hurt me so I would be strong. My cousin was there, teaching me what unconditional love really means so I could get through it. My teachers pushed me so I would ask questions, and eventually go to college. My parents gave me…

Need an Attitude Change?

It had been a while since I was able to attend a yoga class without being expected to teach. It was even longer from the last time I had the privilege of making it to a heated power vinyasa class – the style of yoga that forced me to love the practice just a few…

The Art of Drinking Tea

Allowing yourself to have a cup of tea after an at-home yoga practice is allowing yourself to have a few more minutes of the post-yoga bliss before you have to return to the bustle of life. What does tea really have to do with yoga though, you ask? Yoga and tea are two practices that…

Why It’s Okay to Cry In Class

In many yoga classes you will hear hip-opening poses described as times for emotional release. I’m sure I’ve said, “for whatever reason, we seem to store our emotions in our hips.” What a strange thing for someone to say out loud. What does that even mean, and what happened to me that makes me say…

But What Does the Yoga Teacher Do during Savasana?

Just chill? The story of your yoga class, from a teacher’s perspective: I sit on the train, on my way to work. On the back of a sticky-note I write “heart openers, reverse tabletop, let yourself be still for once.” It may seem futile, but without these few words, I’m proven to be scattered and…