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"A Queer Dharma:
Yoga and Meditations for Liberation"

by Jacoby Ballard

Yoga teacher and social justice educator Jacoby Ballard provides an empowering and affirming guide to embodied healing through yoga and the dharma, grounded in the brilliance, resilience, and lived experiences of queer folks. Addressing the trauma perpetuated against queer communities – complex, vicarious, historical, and collective – Ballard explores the Brahma Viharas, or heart teachings, of both yoga and Buddhism through a queer lens informed by Black feminism and activism. With these teachings, Ballard crafts tools for working with anger, generating self-compassion, fostering lovingkindness, and grounding the nervous system. He also deconstructs the ways mainstream yoga perpetuates systemic oppression, exploring the intersections of yoga, capitalism, cultural appropriation, and sexual violence while offering a visionary path forward.

 

With stories from Ballad's personal practice and professional experience teaching yoga through their weekly Queer and Trans Yoga class, in schools and prisons and at conferences, A Queer Dharma is a guidebook, reclamation, and unapologetically queer heart offering for true healing and transformation.

Book Club Details

This group will meet VIRTUALLY once a week in September, every Monday at 7:00 - 8:30pm ET, as detailed below. Meetings will feature brief guided meditation practice in addition to group discussion on the book. During our fourth and final session (Monday, September 26th), we will be joined by the author for a talk and Q&A. 

Session 1 (Monday, September 5): Part 1 - Pg. 13-63 

  • Forward / Intro & Starting at Ch. “Acceptance & Letting Go”

 

Session 2 (Monday, September 12): Part 1 - Pg. 63-119

  • Starting at Ch. “A Tussel with Equanimity”

 

Session 3 (Monday, September 19): Part 2 - Pg. 119 - 163

  • Starting at Ch. “Not Linving Our Yoga, Just Selling It: Yoga and Capitalism”

 

Session 4 (Monday, September 26): Part 2 - Pg. 163- 205

  • Starting at Ch. Teaching Queer and Trans Yoga

  • Talk and Q&A with the author

Cost for all four sessions is $80 to cover administration fees. If you wish to only attend the fourth session with the author, we are requesting $20. 

Any questions? Please email Nandini at nandini@theidproject.org

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"Underneath anger is a broken heart. Once the anger has cooled, the task is to be present to the tender broken heart—the hurt, betrayal, disappointment, and grief. Lama Rod Owens says, 'The work to turn our attention back to the woundedness is this really intense, profound path of transformation, which doesn’t feel as good as just responding to the anger, because the energy of anger makes us feel powerful. Some of us, particularly if we’re coming from positions and communities where we feel marginalized or erased, use that anger to feel powerful, to feel valid.' There is this vulnerability of being with the pain, and many of us have learned that vulnerability is a risk, potentially threatening our lives. The practice of being with pain is very tender. If we don’t tend to the hurt, we cannot transform it into something else. It will seep out. We work with the resistance to being with our pain, and we work with pain itself."

Excerpt from "A Queer Dharma: Yoga and Meditations for Liberation" by Jacoby Ballard

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Meet the Author
Jacoby Ballard (he/him) teaches yoga and dharma as it intersects with social justice and leads trainings around the country on diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a yoga teacher with 20 years of experience, he leads workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, teaches at conferences, and runs the Resonance mentorship program for certified yoga teachers to find their niche and calling. He has meditated since he was 17 years old, has resided in the Insight tradition for the past 12 years, and trained to teach meditation at the Interdependence Project in New York. In 2008, Jacoby co-founded Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn, to work at the nexus of healing and social justice.
Since 2006 Jacoby has taught Queer & Trans Yoga as a weekly class, a traveling workshop, and an annual retreat, and has offered yoga at the annual Garrison Institute LGBT Meditation Retreat. Jacoby has taught yoga in schools, hospitals, non profit and business offices, a maximum security prison, a recovery center, a cancer center, LGBT centers, gyms, a veteran’s center, and yoga studios. Jacoby lives with his beloved, his gender-expansive child, and dog companion on land known as Co-Karmi to Ute, Goshute, Paiute, and Shoshone people, now understood as Salt Lake City, Utah. He is the author of A Queer Dharma: Yoga and Meditations for Liberation. More at jacobyballard.net.

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