Janessa Mondestin wants to see radical change in the way yoga and wellness spaces operate. She wants people to talk about White Supremacy within the systems and she wants people at all levels to do the work.
In Part 2 of White Supremacy in Yoga series, we discuss the harms and the fixes, including what you can do as a yoga teacher, teacher trainer, student, or person who cares about anti-racism work. This includes reading books, having conversations, and taking meaningful actions.
Here’s just a taste of what we discuss:
- Cultural appropriation of ayurveda.
- Diet culture and racism in yoga.
- How bad teachers can mess up the yoga experience.
- Systemic and structural White Supremacy in yoga and why we need an overhaul, a power shift in diversity, equity, and inclusion from within wellness organizations.
- Call to action with 4 simple steps (listed below)
Body Kindness is a practice of personal and collective well-being. We can do this. Tune in to learn more and most important, take action
- Get educated on what pervasive racism looks like.
- Identify our role in racist America (we are global, so we should adjust this to “planet” — your country, your community.)
- ATONE. “Each one teach one.” Make it a conversation that you educate your partners, children, family, and all the places you hold power and influence in.
- Cultivate ANTIRACIST Coalitions with your newfound circle of Aware and Activated Friends. Seat them in decision-making positions on your PTA Board, Your Politicians, Your Police Department, Your District Attorneys office.
Listen here to Episode 152 here
Thirteen years ago, Janessa Mondestin received a diagnosis for Lupus, an autoimmune condition that motivated her to recommit to wellness. Yogasana was a way for Janessa to balance her weekend-warrior athletic events and the stress from corporate banking. Over time, Yoga and Ayurveda became a central part of her life, both personally and professionally. She left corporate banking to teach yoga and wellness as an Adjunct Professor for Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and Adjunct Faculty of Uncommon Charter School in Newark, NJ.
Today, Janessa is the Director of Culture for Yoga International, liaison for Yoga International Espagnol, Yoga Talent Advocate and Business Coach, Founder of Soulthentic Yoga Registered Yoga School. She is one of the top 20 Yoga Teachers of Color for 2020. She was awarded the title of Yoga Ambassador by India’s Travel Ministry and Prime Minister in 2018.
She is a practicing Yoga Therapist who is developing a safe space for Womxn Wellness, The Soma Yoga Center. Janessa’s experience as a first-generation American born daughter of immigrants, a sexual assault survivor who overcame racial, cultural and gender-based adversity, grief and loss informs her focus on serving the public with a sense of healing, resiliency, and authenticity.
Catch up on the previous episode in this series: Podcast 151: White Supremacy of Yoga with Sabrina Strings PhD, Author of Fearing the Black Body