Live Be Yoga Tour
Every year, Yoga Journal sends ambassadors into the field to get a view of yoga from the ground up. Our reps this year—yoga teachers Jeremy Falk and Aris Seaberg— share what they’ve learned about inclusivity, service, and being in love with the practice.
Yoga Journal Based on what you’ve seen, what do you think the future of yoga will look like?
Jeremy Falk The future of yoga is being shaped by conversations about inclusivity, accessibility, and authenticity. For example, in Charlotte, North Carolina, the yoga community is holding summits around healing #metoo and the culture of exclusivity created by the commercialization of modern yoga, which has perpetuated the idea that yoga is for young, skinny, affluent white women.
Aris Seaberg A few teachers said that yoga in the West has become wide but is lacking depth. But I feel there is a conscious shift happening. Yoga is here to stay and is going to grow much deeper—deeper into our culture but also deeper in the sense of what is taught.
It’s inspiring to see yogis like Aadil and Savitri Palkhivala at the Alive and Shine Center in Bellevue, Washington, standing strong in the traditions of yoga. YJ How can we remain rooted in those traditions and make the practice accessible?
JF Some of my favorite moments on the tour were of meeting master teachers who wanted to discuss the integrity of the practice as it popularizes around the globe. In Washington, DC, John Schumacher urged students to stay connected to a lineage, citing the adage, “If you want to dig for water, dig a deep hole, not several shallow ones.” In London, Stewart Gilchrist reminded us that yoga is not a wellness trend but a timeless philosophy of self-realization and service.
AS These practices have stood the test of time, and now I see them expanding into all corners of the world. It has been inspiring to witness the integration of social issues and yoga. Yogis like Raquel Bueno from Liberation Yoga in Nashville are not
just speaking up and talking about topics like assault and inclusivity but actually using the practice to bring about a shift. YJ What has left a lasting impression?
JF Organizations that are living examples of yoga in service. For example, I Grow Chicago is a nonprofit working tirelessly to heal the most violent neighborhoods in the city, in part with yoga. In London, the organization Ourmala provides safe spaces and traumainformed yoga classes for refugees. My biggest takeaway is that when we create a culture of inclusivity, it amplifies our ability as yogis to create positive change.
AS Every single person I have interacted with on this tour has made an impact on me. Some have shown me ways I can grow, as a human and as a yoga teacher; some have reminded me what it looks like when ego takes over; and some have been outright revolutionary and inspiring. As I now dive into facilitating a training, all of this will influence my practice and my teaching.