Black Women Healing Racial Trauma
A Yoga Nidra Practice for Black Women by Black Women
Led by Erin McIntire, J.D., RYT-200
Friday | June 19, 2020 | 5pm PST / 8pm EST
Zoom Meeting #665 356 145
Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/665356145
Donations Accepted But Not Required: Venmo @erinfmcintire
The intent of this yoga nidra practice is to ground us—emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually—so that we can rise from the roots of our ancestors, those we have lost, and push forward towards a future where we thrive. This yoga nidra practice allows Black women to hold space for the complex emotions and existence we have in an anti-Black society where we are policed, controlled, manipulated, assaulted, and murdered for our existence or our family’s existence.
This yoga nidra practice is designed by Black women, for Black women, to lead Black women. Only we know our pain and only we have the power within ourselves to build our resilience and facilitate our healing to the racialized trauma we face. This practice is best done in Black women-only spaces that can center the harm and trauma that the Black community specifically face in the United States.
Erin will guide participants through this practice virtually. Yoga nidra is a practice where we lie down and are guided through a meditation in stillness. To engage in this virtual practice, you should try to have the following:
A comfortable flat surface to lay on with some padding (ex: a yoga mat, a thick blanket, a couch, or a bed).
A blanket (for those with anxiety or depression, providing multiple blankets or a weighted blanket can be beneficial).
A firm pillow for behind the neck and/or behind the knees.
A picture or item from a deceased loved one (if not applicable, then a living loved one) to build a collective virtual altar.
A comfortable room or space. This practice can be done at someone’s home, in an organizing meeting space, outside, or other area that feels comfortable for the participant(s).
People participating in this healing practice should wear comfortable, loose clothes.
Flowers, plants, and other items from our cultures from across the Black Diaspora to share in building a collective virtual alter space for honoring our ancestors.
Erin (she/they) is a Black yoga instructor (RYT-200), dancer/mover, lawyer, and activist, who empowers women of color, especially Black womxn and QTPOC, to find freedom through movement + stillness. Her offerings are a space for us to build community, self-heal racial trauma, and empower ourselves.
As a yoga instructor, Erin guides you on a journey of self-discovery, self-reflection, self-acceptance, and self-healing. Erin became a yoga instructor as part of her own journey towards undoing her own internalized racial oppression and as a way to share her self-care practice with the many Black womxn activists, Black women lawyers, and people of color in her community fighting against racial oppression. Her practice also helps ground her for her day-job as a civil rights attorney and her pro-bono legal work handling clemency cases with the Seattle Clemency Project.
In her offerings, we learn to pause through yin yoga, meditation, and yoga nidra focused on facilitating our own healing from racial trauma. We learn to flow in a Vinyasa-style yoga class that centers us in the present. We also engage through race vibes (a blog + podcast to discuss stories and lessons from anti-racist organizing and yoga to deal with systemic racism and oppression that impact us as womxn of color—coming very soon!).
Erin has 25+ years of movement practice and experience as a dancer and professional performer in ballet, jazz, modern dance, contemporary, contact improvisation, ballet partnering, and modern dance partnering. She received a B.A. in Dance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ Dance & Theatre Arts Department (May 2012). Erin has 11+ years of Vinyasa-style yoga practice, yin yoga practice, and yoga nidra practice. Erin has 8+ years of active learning, training, and facilitation in racial equity and anti-racism. She is a Yoga Alliance certified RYT-200 yoga teacher who completed her training through the Craft of Teaching Yoga in 2018. She has also completed continuing education in myofascial release through The Roll Model® Method with Casey Easton and through Betsy Shilling/ Wellround; yoga nidra through Maria McDonald; and yin yoga through Leah Adams. Erin is a current mentee Afro Yoga’s Decolonize Your Yoga Teaching.
As a yoga instructor, Erin’s mission is to empower women of color, especially Black womxn and QTPOC, through yoga and embodied movement practices that reclaim our health and promote better wellness outcomes for ourselves, families, and our collective community. All women of color should have the opportunity to have good health, wellness, and full lives. Attaining wellness requires undoing systemic and institutional racism, colonization, and oppression that prevent us from accessing health and wellness spaces. To do this, we need racial equitable health and wellness, which includes:
Access to spiritual and movement practices in your neighborhood or home;
Access to body work in your neighborhood or home;
Freedom from discrimination when caring for yourself;
Healthy, sustainable sources of food for nourishment where you live;
Having options for wellness support from people who look like you, have a similar cultural background as you, and similar lived experiences as you; and
Being able to live in safe environments that promote wellness.