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Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World will ask you to explore the deeply transformational practice of yoga, and to become a social change agent so that you can create a world that is just for all. This book explores liberation for ourselves and others, while asking us to engage in our own agency, whether that manifests as activism, volunte ...more
ebook, 106 pages
Published November 23rd 2017 by Radical Transformation Media
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Average rating 4.50  · 
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 ·  365 ratings  ·  49 reviews


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Dev
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would have been a great book to have in my teacher training which was marketed as an emphasis on social justice but honestly didn’t even delve deep into social justice issues. In fact, when we did try to discuss what was happening outside of the space, a lot of spiritual bypassing took place and basically dominant culture thrived. I appreciate this book being a concise but comprehensive approach to radical yoga as it was intended to practice. As an organizer and activist myself, Yoga was th ...more
Jen
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great little book about making yoga more inclusive. Wish there was a bit more, but enjoyed it.
Jen Jen
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Quick, excellent read, and I’m so glad this is included in my yoga teacher training. This is an important conversation. There is a lot of good info here but it really just scratches the surface, will definitely be looking into the author’s yoga trainings for more.
Jo
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a short book to be used as a way to blend social justice work and modern yoga practice. That being said, it does not assume you have already been doing social justice work, so it would be great for beginners to that field. I do feel it assumes some knowledge of yoga practice, although you can be fairly new to that as well. What it is not and is not trying to be is an in depth treaties on either social justice work or on yoga philosophy. It is clearly meant as a companion for other source ...more
Molly
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Skill in Action offers a range of practices for those who love and value yoga to self-reflect and use those insights to fuel sustainable mindsets and actions to contribute to a just world, where all beings can be happy and free.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a 4-week online book club lead by the author, to explore the insights and exercises contained in the book in greater detail. I especially appreciated the exercises that examined identity and social location.

Skill in Action offers
...more
Christina
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for any yoga teacher or soon to be YT. People who are also looking to deepen their practice beyond asana should also pick this up. Grateful I was able to engage in discussion around this text but I wish it had been a formal part of yoga teacher training. This book provides a much needed perspective and deconstructs the modern yoga practice, along with providing tangible ways to apply Skill in Action to your practice and teaching.
Kelly
A great primer to making your teaching of yoga more inclusive and social justice focused.
Kristin
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simple read that engages the audience from a yoga teacher perspective. As a white cis gender woman I am continually learning how I view the yoga space and how to make it more accessible to others.
Laura Apperson
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While searching for ways I can turn things that I already do into simple activism for social justice, I stumbled upon Michelle Johnson’s book. She’s a social activist and yoga teacher who has married these two practices and teaches others how to do so, too, in SKILL IN ACTION. Yoga spaces are very white. How can we—teacher or not—actively create spaces where people of all identities and races feel totally comfortable? I also joined the Skill in Action book club to talk to Michelle and other folk ...more
Liz Allen
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book should be mandatory reading in all yoga teacher training curricula in the US. How the yamas and niyamas, foundational principles of the yoga sutras, apply to understanding the impact of race and racism, and how race and racism affect the yoga space.
Angela Tolsma
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a student of yoga or a teacher, especially a white teacher. This book is a must read.
Carol
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
A short book, 90 pages, full of emotion evoking "stuff." Three chapters in total. Depending upon one's background will determine one's response to it. For me, the term "white supremacy" used over and over again made me put the book down a number of times. I have learned if something stirs such a reaction one should pursue the emotion to learn from it, so I kept reading. The author makes her case for white supremacy in the first chapter, "her case" should be emphasized. In the second chapter she ...more
Emma
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I've been really getting into yoga lately, and I think it's done a lot for me in terms of my physical and mental health, and multiple research has been done on how yoga can be helpful on people who suffer from PTSD.
However, as this book points out, yoga has been culturally appropriated in the west. What started as a religious practice in India has been changed over many years into a wellness brand that is mostly geared towards white, middle-class, thin white women. I mean, just think about the m
...more
Mary Beth
This little book was a bit shorter than I expected (which is no ones fault but my own for not paying attention to how many page numbers there were when I ordered it, lol). Having said that, it’s got some great stuff packed into a little book. There are several activities that require you to slow down and really meditate on them. Whether you’re new to social justice work and/or yoga or you’ve been one or both for a while, I think this book offers a valuable and important perspective.

I’m really d
...more
Danielle Moore
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book that really pushes you to think not only about how to be more radical with your yoga practice, but also the imprint you want to leave behind. There are 5 practice exercises in the book that really push you to get in touch with your inner self. The book explains the original intent behind yoga practice, how it has deviated from its original meaning and purpose, and what we can do in our practice to honor the tradition of yoga and create safe spaces for others. I enjoyed it and highly r ...more
Ashley Sherburne
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A engaging and inspiring book that all yoga practitioners and teachers must read as they deepen their journey of yoga. Johnson reminds us that yoga is inherently a path of social justice, and when anyone suffers, we all suffer. She leads us gently yet powerfully in a process of recognizing our privilege, committing ourselves to social justice, and authentically embodying the practices of yoga.
This book is a gift to the yoga community and beyond, and should be required in all yoga teacher traini
...more
Mrs. Europaea
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting concepts to consider and put into practice. Johnson askes readers to understand language at its core and to reevaluate what they think they know, feel, and understand about things like oppression, privilege, racism, suffering, liberation etc.. and how they communicate with others regarding these concepts and engage in actions to promote and implement social justice.

Seeing our goodness internally without feeling a responsibility to the collective whole limits the intention an
...more
Meganators
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I attended a 3-part book discussion for this book through a local yoga studio. The book is short but powerful and offers constructive suggestions for students, yoga teachers, and studios to take to help create inclusive and inviting spaces for diverse populations. Don’t skip over the exercises - they offer a real opportunity for deeper self-reflection and growth. My Identity poem turned out to be something really meaningful for me. Highly recommended
Elizabeth Love
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important contribution to modern yoga

Skill in Action asks us as yoga practitioners and teachers to reflect on our identities. Privilege is looked in the eye and must be called out. The origins of the Yoga must not be colonized. Including what we today call social justice is the same as Yogis of the past who rebelled and stood up to oppression.
CaseyArmstrong
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think this would be a great book for all yoga teacher trainings. It is a quick read but powerful. Whether or not you have knowledge of social justice and/or yoga philosophy she examines the connection with clarity and precision.

This was a very moving and inspirational book for me personally and I recommend it not only for yoga teachers but also students!
Cyndrina
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal piece of work. Taught me so much that I, as a colored person, felt guilty for perpetuating or subconsciously embodying some of these oppressive traits. I'm wholeheartedly ready to bridge my beginner social justice work with my long term yoga practice. So glad this read was recommended for my 200 hr YTT. ...more
Lorrie
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Radical yet practical and heartfelt call to action! I felt like Johnson was speaking to me specifically in so many ways. Looking forward to finding more ways to engage in this work through one of Johnson’s trainings! This is one of those books that you can read and come back to time and time again. Highly recommend to those that teach and practice yoga on the mat and in life!
Dan Mutter
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“When one learns to be skillful in action, it is impossible not to take lessons from the yoga room into the world”.

Offering 5 practices to reflect on the intersection of yoga, social justice, and self-inquiry, this short reader contains insight for teachers and students and ultimately a call to action.
Cady
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and all of the activities. In an effort to do my own reckoning with white privilege, white supremacy, and social justice, it did stir up quite a bit for me that I did not realize I was struggling with. I think this is a great book for anyone practicing yoga, especially teachers, but I would recommend branching out into more anti-racism literature as this book only scratches the surface of it.
Kate
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
This is an important topic, but I was disappointed that this book does not have a lot of content. It may provide a starting point for conversations in yoga teacher trainings and yoga communities, but I think needs to be supplemented with other readings (Radical Dharma, My Grandmother’s Hands, Me & White Supremacy, for example).
Kay
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-nineteen
A brief primer on how one's positionality impacts their yoga practice and the intersection of Western yoga with various forms of oppression. When reading the book, I most enjoyed Johnson's accounts of her personal experiences in wellness spaces. Many of them resonated with me. ...more
Teresa Hoien
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
It is a book I picked up and put down until working through it with a group of fellow yoga teachers. The assignments are thought provoking, challenging, and sometimes uncomfortable. A helpful guide as we do the inner work of our yoga practices.
Allison
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all yoga teachers.
Andrea
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Think this book should be required reading for all yoga teacher training programs.
Alissa
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for all yoga teachers. We have no excuse but to do this work.
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