by Laura Patterson/Spencer Jenkins
Since the inception of Queer Kentucky in 2018, we have believed that creating sober spaces for LGBTQ+ people to gather is crucial in creating community. We have been thrilled to create a space for queer people to come together and experience the power of yoga.
Due to COVID-19, we were forced from our home at Suspend Louisville and turned to virtual classes. Since our virtual classes began, we even took another break to allow space for the social justice uprising in the digital world. However, we know that yoga is very healing — it’s time for us to hop on our mats again.
The word “yoga” comes from the word yog, which means “union.” The union of mind, body, spirit is an ancient healing practice created by Vedic, Hindu, Buhdist, Islam, and Sihk indigenous peoples across south Asia and Africa over 5000 years ago. In the practice we focus on the physical practice of yoga, which is only one very small part of larger yogic practices. These practices come from a linage in Ayurvedic medicine (uniting mind, body, and spirit).
In westernized yoga, the physical practice has been largely severed from the sacred roots as a form of exercise through the colonization and commodification of the movement sequences. Layers of oppression and exclusion took what was a sacred practice, colonized it, and made it largely exclusive for white middle class americans to buy, sell, and profit from.
Separating yoga from its roots is harmful. Nisha Ajuda, explains that, “yoga practices can help us reconnect with the parts of ourselves that oppression tries to get rid of.” She shares that when yoga practices are decolonized, they will include the connection between yourself and others. This way we can create space for collective healing and liberation. That is why we are inspired to bring this opportunity to move, breathe, and practice together to the Queer Kentucky Community. Kentucky is the indigenous land of the Osage, Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee), and Shawnee peoples.
If possible, folx practicing and sharing yoga should consider donating and/or paying reparations to groups that suffer most from colonization. We encourage donations to Kentucky Health Justice Network because of their work to ensure the safety and well-being of QTBIPOC folx.
About the Instructor
Adriena Dame believes in the holistic healing power of yoga and meditation. She understands that by bringing the mind, body, breath, and subtle energy systems (i.e. chakras, meridians, . . . ) into harmony, we are better equipped to deepen our connection with the higher dimensional aspects of self and all sentient beings. While she draws on her professional training, personal experience, and intuition to optimize her leadership as a yoga, meditation, and sound journeying guide, her ability to hold safe space for the seen and unseen vulnerabilities of others is at the cornerstone of her strengths.
Adriena came to the sacred work of healing from a background in creative writing, art making, higher education, and the traveling adventures that came with growing up in a military family. When she is not offering one-on-one bodywork and cosmic coaching care at HighVibe Living, a holistic wellness clinic she founded in Louisville, KY, she is using her gifts as a multi-sensing spiritual channel and loving kindness practitioner to serve seekers all around the world (—numerology, astrology, tarot, oracle, and ancestor readings, Shamanic journeying, . . .). She is also quite often busy developing businesses, nurturing relationships, and engaging in random acts of loving kindness and playful, childlike abandon.