PROJECT NAME: Yoga e Negritude
CITY: Belo Horizonte
DESCRIPTION: Yoga e Negritude is a photographic project, carried out by the Sangat from Belo Horizonte - Brazil, which represents black people in the world of Kundalini Yoga through images of black men and women in these spaces.
PEOPLE SERVED: Kundalini Yoga institutions and studios.
STARTING YEAR: 2018
PERSON IN CHARGE: Sunderta Kaur [ Marina Nobel ] (also a 3HO Luminary)
TO ACCESS AND USE THE IMAGE DATABASE:
Project Yoga e Negritude seeks to reflect greater diversity and equity within the world of Kundalini Yoga and self-care through yoga photography featuring black men and women, who have been historically neglected in the world of Yoga.
The Project Yoga e Negritude emerged in 2018 with the purpose of raising discussions about the representation of black women and men in the yoga universe and in self-care practices.
From photographs that highlight the image of black people in the world of Kundalini Yoga, and considering the image as a tool for strength and expression, the project has been promoting and encouraging discussions where the photographs are exhibited, creating possibilities for dialogue and strengthening the purpose of inclusion, which is the project's core theme.
The project included the participation of teachers, students and former Kundalini Yoga practitioners. There were three photo sessions, along with discussion meetings where the group explored the question on how to support a greater equity in yoga spaces and wellness practices. Some of the issues on the agenda of the Project Yoga and Negritude are:
HOW CAN WE TRAIN MORE BLACK, INDIGENOUS, AND OTHER MINORITY TEACHERS SO THAT A MORE DIVERSE PUBLIC RECOGNIZES ITSELF IN THESE SPACES?
HOW TO WELCOME INDIVIDUALS FROM DIFFERENT ECONOMIC, CULTURAL AND STRUCTURAL BACKGROUNDS WITHOUT SOCIALLY STIGMATIZING THEM?
The murder of George Floyd, which occurred in May 2020 in the US, has further highlighted the relevance of blackness and equity issues. This event brought to light numerous cases of racial violence that occur around the world and cannot be only explained from the perspective of racial discrimination, but also speak of political strategies that have shaped the reality of these people for centuries, which result in genocide, the incarceration of young black people, and inequality associated with political, cultural, and economic capital.
According to the people involved in the Project, if we want to transform this reality, abandon privileges, and honestly look at ourselves, we must go far beyond the moment of solidarity represented by "hashtags" or sharing pictures of events that cause commotions - which are also important. We must also consider what effective actions each of us and our communities are taking to make the lifestyle and teachings that support quality of life viable, reaching everyone in diverse contexts.
Being increasingly well received by Kundalini Yoga and Dharma teachers and institutions, this project is an invitation to ponder on how to propose effective actions in spaces of self-care and wellbeing we visit, seeking to promote the representation not only of black people, but of a wider and more effective diversity.
We talked with Sunderta Kaur, founder of Yoga e Negritude, who gives us more details and insights during the 3 years of the project. Check it out in the video above.