#WFPB Vegan, Activism, Ahimsa, Animals, Ashtanga, Buddhism, Environment, Food, Going Vegan, Hare Krishna, Healing, Health & Wellness, Hinduism, India, ISKCON, Krishna, Liberation, Meditation, MeToo, Perspective, Sexual Assault, Sexual Health and Wellness, SexualHealing, Shastriya Sangeet, Social Justice, Survivors, T. Colin Campbell, The China Study, Touch, Vegan, Violence, Womens Wellness, Yoga

Hare Krishna! Go Vegan!

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I am writing this instead of sitting in meditation. Maybe I should have sat in meditation.

If you are a cow milk drinker and/or a Krishna devotee, you may or may not want to read this, but I would love to hear from you if you do. Please read with an open mind, then please do contact me and point out the errors in my own thinking. How else can we evolve?

Disclosure: I declared myself vegetarian around the age of 10 because I thought that a lot of animal “meat” tasted gross. I did like the taste of a few things: microwavable breakfast sausages drenched in maple syrup, scrambled eggs with fried onions and salty ketchup, raw salmon with capers and cream cheese. Looking back, I’m sure I liked the taste of the “accoutrements” that accompanied the animal meat more than I liked the actual “meat”.  Maple syrup, ketchup, fried onions, cream cheese… sugar, salt, oil, fat, yum!

A cousin also opened my eyes at a young age to the violent reality of factory farming: animals being enslaved, tortured, objectified, and treated abominably for human consumption. He opened my eyes a little bit as well to the damaging environmental impact that this consumer behavior was inflicting on our planet. Not to mention the many ill effects on human health. These considerations made my resolution to renounce animal meat even stronger but some doctors tried to dissuade me. I felt a little bullied by their “authority”. They thought animal protein was “necessary” for my growth. I had not yet heard of Doctor T. Colin Campbell and The China Study, and apparently, neither had they. So I compromised with eating some dairy, fish, and eggs every now and then. I was ambiguous about fish. Were they also living beings suffering the pain and environmental degradation of factory farming? What about eating eggs? Until I started thinking of eggs like chicken menstruation, they didn’t seem so bad – I didn’t know about the nightmarish living conditions for so many farmed chickens. I was clueless that mainstream cow’s milk had become a despicably cruel and unhealthy industry. I loved those “Got Milk” commercials! I even wanted my own milk mustache commercial, darn it. I wasn’t yet clear enough to trust my own resolve and intuition.

Flash forward: in my late 20s, I was traveling in India – the country with the highest number of vegetarians in the world, and arguably the most tasty and versatile cuisine for herbivores! By then, I had adopted a very Indian inspired vegetarian diet. Lacto-vegetarian. My ex-boyfriend was Rajasthani and an excellent cook. I learned a lot of Indian style vegetarian cooking from him. I still drank milk – especially in my spicy Indian chai, which I enjoyed – and I still loved yogurt and cheese, also known as “paneer”, as well as “ghee”, or clarified butter (often recommended in Ayurvedic recipes). I was not yet contemplating the hellish reality that cows endured to produce these products for human consumption in our contemporary culture (very different from ancient India). 

On this particular trip to India, I was traveling on my own, doing research and recordings for a documentary film project about Indian Classical Music (title: JHAPTAL). I was visiting different friends in several different cities. During my stay with friends in Mumbai, it turned out that their guest room had been infested with bed bugs just before I arrived. After two days, I was massacred by bed bugs and I had a horrible blanket of bites all over my skin. The itching was very painful. So I had to find alternative accommodations while my friends cleaned their room and took care of the infestation.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) ashram was just down the road from their house. My friends were ISKCON members. The ISCKON ashram in Mumbai has a big, beautiful guesthouse. There were rooms available. The rooms were spacious, clean, and affordable, with gorgeous balconies overlooking the temple. So I moved there.

While staying at the ISKCON ashram guesthouse, I woke up in the dark hours of morning, naked and screaming with a man moving on top of me. An unknown man had broken into my room and mounted me without me knowing. I was semi-conscious. I later came to reason that I had been drugged by the chai that I had ordered from room service the night before, after which I had completely blacked out. This man clearly did not expect me to wake up, nor to make so much noise upon doing so. He couldn’t shut me up. He ran away for fear of getting caught. I could not run fast enough after him. He escaped. I have told this story before. Please read my earlier post for further details.

The point that I want to make here is that I had a very visceral experience of extreme violence and violation. The “private” parts of my body had been trespassed, bruised, and I had finger nail scratches across my breasts. My body and my mind had been violently touched and tampered with by someone for whom I had given no consent to do so.  I felt that I could have died while fighting that man off of me, but I survived. All this while I was in an ashram dedicated to Lord Krishna. 

One of the Krishna devotees who came to my side when the police and doctor arrived said something to me that I have reflected on ever since – and my interpretation of it has varied over time. She said something along the lines of: “You are blessed that this happened in Lord Krishna’s home. Your karma ripened here for a reason. You could have died if it had happened elsewhere. He protected you.” 

At that time, I really didn’t know what to think. Isn’t the whole world Lord Krishna’s home? Why wouldn’t he protect me anywhere? Why here?

For years, I struggled to work through the trauma. I didn’t consider it as a calling to Lord Krishna, specifically. I found a lot more help from the teachings of the Buddha. I even changed my name to a name given to me by a Tibetan Buddhist lama. I kept that name as my official name for one whole year. I stopped working on my documentary and all my film/video creative work.  I started to practice yoga like never before. I became a vegan.

Overall, the trajectory of healing from this trauma has been transformative in a way that I feel much better about who I am now than I remember feeling about who I was before: clearer, calmer, and at greater peace with myself.  Going vegan has been a real part of that. It’s a way to clear confusion, vagueness, and ambiguity about aspirations towards non-violence. Ahimsa. 

It has taken me 10 years to put this life changing event into a positive perspective on many levels. I no longer doubt the meaning of being raped in an ashram dedicated to Lord Krishna. Krishna is also known as Govind or Gopal: the protector of cows.

Yes, spiritually speaking, the whole world is actually Krishna’s home – but different parts of the world call Krishna by different names. In this particular part of the world where I was, where my trauma occurred, the ISKCON Guesthouse in Mumbai, the name of the divine is called: Krishna. Krishna is a protector of cows.

At the moment between life and death, I was in some way protected in Krishna’s home. I survived. What is my debt to Krishna? My debt is to help protect cows.

The choice to go vegan was one of the most clear consequences of my experience of rape because I had so dramatically felt what it might be like to be a cow and experience such a degree of VIOLATION. 

Buying “organic” milk was no longer enough of a reassurance for me that the cows were comfortable with constant human interference on their “private” parts. For the first time, it felt undeniable that the dairy industry is an industry of sanctioned sexual assault. No thank you.

Cows cannot argue for their own rights. Humans must give them a voice.

May ALL cows be protected. Hare Krishna! Go Vegan!

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photo thanks – www.thehindu.com
Activism, Ashtanga, Buddhism, Hatha Yoga, Healing, Health & Wellness, Hinduism, India, Kundalini, Liberation, Meditation, MeToo, Perspective, Sexual Health and Wellness, Social Justice, Survivors, Times Up, Violence, Womens Wellness, Yoga

#MeToo Healing Part 3: Perspective & Kundalini

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It occurs to me that some people are uncomfortable with an open discussion of rape/sexual assault/sexual harassment, etc. There is a lot of fear around the subject of sexual violence. Indeed, an experience of sexual violence and its aftermath can be very frightening to say the least. Not everybody is ready to embrace the positive side of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that are pointing out, stirring up, and overturning the violent social constructs that ignorantly underly our societies today.

So, I want to offer you a more invitational perspective.

A perspective that is also more hopeful. You might say that it is also more radical. My perspective offers you a way of looking at the experience of trauma as a form of yogic awakening, a psycho-spiritual upheaval in the uncoiling of kundalini. Please don’t roll your eyes at the mention of “kundalini” nor at the cliché association of yoga with “healing”. A French theater teacher of mine once told me, “a cliché is actually a truth just waiting to be dignified.” Let’s see.

This newfound understanding – I would also call it my way of integrating my own experience of trauma – has been churning in my consciousness for at least the past 7 years, at least since I started practicing the sadhana of Mysore Ashtanga Yoga. In this time, I have seen my relationship with life evolve in a process of expansive transformation that seems somehow connected to my practice.

Indirectly,  I feel this perspective that I am about to share here was crystallized just this past week in an intensive Ashtanga yoga workshop with Ty Landrum on the Ashtanga Second Series – also known as Nadi Shodhana (cleansing the subtle energy channels in our bodymind). In this Ashtanga vinyasa workshop, Ty inspired me (and probably everyone in attendance) to think more multidimensionally about our practice, and thereby, all that arises along the ever pulsating continuum that is life and death.

For me, this continuum includes – among other things – a traumatic experience 10 years ago at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Mumbai, India.

An important benchmark in healing from trauma seems to be the ability to access its memory without being overcome by it. I am so happy to have arrived at this benchmark.

Before this experience in Mumbai, I don’t recall ever feeling such a primal connection to my survival instinct, to the desire for life itself.

In the yoga workshop last week, Ty was saying how our desire for life is at the root of all other desires. There is one creative pulse at the source of our being. Yoga practice helps us to combat the existential estrangement we feel from this primal creative impulse.

Connecting with this creative pulse is what our yoga practice can ultimately do, and thereby, liberate. Tapping into our most primal desire for life itself can liberate us from all other desires (and subsequently: sufferings) because all desires stem, like fractal reflections, from this primal energy. This primal energy can be understood as bliss consciousness, and it can also be called, kundalini.

I’m going to elaborate a little bit here:

When kundalini rises in our bodymind (physiologically, from the root of the spine to the crown chakra), it inevitably confronts any psychic knots in our energy system. Whatever is blocking our psycho-spiritual development is blocking the flow of kundalini. These knots or blockages in our subtle energy system can cause real upheaval in our lives – like a lightening bolt hitting a rod can electrify whatever is touching that rod. Undoing these knots to free the inner flow is part of the practice of yoga. The “sudden” and “jarring” experience of knots coming undone is related to the practice of “hatha” yoga, which literally implies using force to awaken our bodymind.

Now, if we can understand “trauma” as a sudden and jarring effect on our nervous system, then we can start to see its functional integration in and to the context/process of hatha yoga practice, in which the Ashtanga vinyasa practice is rooted.

Personally, the traumatic experience that I had in Mumbai in 2009 put me first and foremost into a direct connection with my primal desire for life itself. The experience of this desire was completely overwhelming. I am a person who refuses to eat meat, however, at the moment that I was attacked on a life-or-death level, I felt ready to murder the man who was trying to murder me. I was determined to stay alive. I wanted to survive. I did not want to die in that moment as he tried to choke me. I did not want to die as he pinned my body under his. I kept fighting. I kept screaming.  I felt so strongly that I couldn’t let him shut me up. And I am sure that is how I actually got his hands off of my neck. That is how I got his whole body off of my body. Not by the strength of my arms but by the persistence of my voice. He was afraid that someone would hear me.

When he finally jumped up and ran away, I jumped up and ran after him. There wasn’t even a thought in my head. Until, suddenly, jarringly, I realized that I was running naked. This realization stopped me in my tracks. It was a Zero-Experience, an experience without any other reference point that I can offer.

For now, I’d like to add that recognizing this traumatic experience as a sudden and jarring awakening of my kundalini shakti has nothing to do with any moral judgement on the experience.

This perspective is not about passing a morality judgement.

Morally, I would say, my experience in that moment was negative and should not be something that happens to people. We should do what we can to prevent such harm from ever happening and that is the virtue of the #MeToo & #TimesUp movements.

Spiritually, however, I have to say that it is in fact how my karma unfolded in the awakening of my consciousness. This process of awakening is a positive experience.

Can you relate?

More on this in another post.

Love & Courage,

Sandi

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Activism, Animals, Buddhism, Environment, Healing, Health & Wellness, Liberation, Meditation, Music, Social Justice, Survivors, Sustainability, Vegan, Womens Wellness, Yoga

actually, it’s ours: in this together

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Yoga practice can transport us out of the suffering of conventional reality and reveal to us a kind of indestructible personal universe, a playful spaciousness within our own mind & body – but – that – is – really – only – a – beneficial – experience – if – the yoga practice also calls us to return to the conventional, collective, shared experience of suffering, the daily realities of this planet. We have to face all the HALAHALA! In yoga mythology, halahala हलाहल is the poison that arises from the churning of the ocean of samsara in the battle between the gods and demigods (perhaps a battle of our own intentions) for Amrita, the nectar of immortality. We seek the way out of the suffering in order to get back into it, we practice and non-attach, not to escape nor disconnect from the world, but to re-turn and re-connect with greater contentment, compassion, calmness, courage, purpose. ✌️💕🚀 Music: That Day Musician: Jef 🎶 #yogawithsandi

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3k happy joy: ashtanga updates from #yogawithsandi

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3K happy joy (that was the auto spell correct for “Sri K Pattabhi Jois” when speaking his name into my phone here 😂), Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the great and in some cases controversial guru of the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice, often considered “the original power yoga”, is said to have said that he really did not like to use the term “Power Yoga“ because Power is related to the human ego, where as Yoga is meant to take us beyond the Ego to union with God or the divine, or the supreme energy of the universe – however you understand this to be. It is indeed empowering to cultivate strength and flexibility through yoga practice, and with that, a greater sense of control and deliberation with our bodies, minds, lives, but perhaps there is a further step in this process: to surrender the effort, the fruit, the whole process, to dedicate all one’s experience to that which is greater than one’s self. What does that mean to you? 🙏🔥 Heated power Yoga with me today at Colorado Athletic Club Boulder @cacboulder 🔥✨ #yogawithsandi #cacboulder #3khappyjoy #srikpattabhijois #poweryoga #ashtanga #vinyasa #yoga #strength #flexibility #wellness #liberation #backbends #empowerment #surrender #ishvarapranidhana #8limbs #vegan #plantpowered #gogogobeyond

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Shortly after returning from studying with Sharath Jois in Mysore, India in 2016, I moved from NYC to an area in NJ where there was no Mysore studio within a 45 min drive. 🔹 My time in Mysore, and the years of practice in NYC before that, nevertheless empowered me to continue practicing the sadhana on my own – and to share the practice. 🔹 I’ve maintained a regular self-practice for over 2 years (including intensive Ashtanga workshops and week/weekend classes with Sharath and Saraswathi) and I’ve discovered in this time how valuable it is to have the self-practice/ home-practice that the Ashtanga sadhana empowers us with. 🔹 That said, I’ve also come to see how valuable and of great merit it can be to connect with a community and a teacher to practice with and to continue learning from! 🔹 It can be challenging to show up, whether to oneself or to a group, but ultimately we can only understand so much on our own. And it’s awesome to be a yoga student, especially if we consider ourselves to be yoga teachers too! 🔹 Big thanks to @tylandrumyoga and the @yogaworkshop for the community and learning here in Boulder. 🔹 Just a few days ago in practice I was saying that “it’s impossible for me to go into handstand with straight legs” and thanks to Ty’s encouragement and guidance, I am starting to do so. 🔹 Join me for a taste of this transformative practice tomorrow morning 6am-8am at CAC Boulder @cacboulder 🔹 #mysore #ashtanga #vinyasa #yoga #shanti #yogasadhana #health #wellness #liberation #tictocs #handstands #backbends #vegan #veganflexy #veganstrong #plantpowered #8limbs #yogaworkshop #cacboulder #yogawithsandi

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Orange The World 2017

16 days of social media activism for #OrangeTheWorld 2017: raising awareness for the UN Women’s Campaign to #LeaveNoOneBehind.

~ November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women & Girls, until December 10th, Universal Human Rights Day ~

As a human being, a girl, a woman, and a survivor, I thank the United Nations Women for the opportunity to come together and energize our online space with a global focus on this Intention in Action.

I see activism as an opportunity not only to express, and put our knowledge out there, but also to learn, and take in new information. Each day of the campaign, I tried to share a reflection that relates directly or indirectly to my experience as a survivor of sexual violence.

Ultimately, although this is a celebration for the elimination of violence against women and girls, whether we identify as a girl or a boy, a woman or a man – ending violence against one benefits the wellbeing of all.

May we stay active! 

Day 1 (Happy International Day for the Elimination of VAWG!)

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#OrangeTheWorld 1/16 🍊✊️✨ “More than 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. That is 818 million women—almost the total population of sub-Saharan Africa and almost three times the population of the United States.” – Sources: WHO (2013) Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. Klugman, J., Hanmer, L., Twigg, S., Hasan, T., McCleary-Sills, J., and Santa Maria, J. (2014). Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Washington, DC: World Bank. http://www.vawgresourceguide.org/overview 🍊🌎🍊🌍🍊🌏🍊 #Kapotasana #Ashtanga #Yoga #YogaWithSandi #WomenAndGirlsEmpowerment #GenderEquality #VAWG #RiseUp #EndSexualViolence #Nonviolence #UNiTE

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Day 2

Day 3

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#OrangeTheWorld 3/16 🍊🌍🍊🌎🍊🌏🍊 Violence could be considered a form of communication in which the perpetrator tells the victim that he or she is worth less than whatever initiated the act of violence. The message of violence is therefore one of degradation. Violence demeans, devalues, and diminishes the victim’s sense of self because that self has been marked down beneath the perpetrator’s agenda. For the victim, this results in a disconnect with one’s fundamental sense of worthiness and integrity, whereby, it feels nearly impossible to determine – or to feel determined – about one’s value, one’s potential, one’s connection with life. You got marked down – so what are you really worth? On the other hand, the healing from violence brings up these fundamental questions whereby we are given the opportunity to reconsider and rediscover what we base our values upon. These are reflections from my experience. 🍊🌏🍊🌍🍊🌎🍊 #Violence #Nonviolence #Healing #HealingRape #HealingSexualAssault #Communication #Value #Worth #Respect #RiseUp #VAWG #UNiTE

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Day 4

Day 5

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#OrangeTheWorld 5/16 🔶 “Why should I stop, why? the birds have gone in search of the blue direction. the horizon is vertical, vertical and movement fountain-like; and at the limits of vision shining planets spin. the earth in elevation reaches repetition, and air wells changes into tunnels of connection; and day is a vastness, which does not fit into narrow mind of newspaper worms. why should I stop? the road passes through the capillaries of life, the quality of the environment in the ship of the uterus of the moon will kill the corrupt cells. and in the chemical space after sunrise there is only sound, sound that will attract the particles of time. why should I stop? what can a swamp be? what can a swamp be but the spawning ground of corrupt insects? swollen corpses scrawl the morgue's thoughts, the unmanly one has hidden his lack of manliness in blackness, and the bug… ah, when the bug talks, why should I stop? cooperation of lead letters is futile, it will not save the lowly thought. I am a descendant of the house of trees. breathing stale air depresses me. a bird which died advised me to commit flight to memory. the ultimate extent of powers is union, joining with the bright principle of the sun and pouring into the understanding of light. it is natural for windmills to fall apart. why should I stop? I clasp to my breast the unripe bunches of wheat and breastfeed them sound, sound, only sound, the sound of the limpid wishes of water to flow, the sound of the falling of star light on the wall of earth's femininity the sound of the binding of meaning's sperm and the expansion of the shared mind of love. sound, sound, sound, only sound remains…” – Forough Farrokhzaad, It Is Only Sound That Remains (continued in comments) 🔶 #FemalePoets #FavoritePoets #ForoughFarrokhzad #Feminine #Strength #Vision #Words #Sound #Ashtanga #Yoga #Kapotasana #YogaWithSandi #KeepGoing #DontGiveUp

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Day 6

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#OrangeTheWorld 6/16 🍊🌎 Today I made it to my 30th day in a row of writing at least 750 words a day. This feels great. Writing has previously – throughout my life and schooling – been more like pulling teeth. Painful! Nevertheless, I published a whole book of poetry in my early twenties and was a prolific writer, smoker and drinker while writing back then too – but then, experiencing trauma, I stopped writing. Stopped. Froze. For so many years. Just couldn’t get into the groove of feeling any inspiring connection with the words. But slowly, little by little, it’s like the words have started to move past the blocks and it feels like something is melting. Heart Warming. Writing is a fantastic way to sort through all the intelligible and unintelligible thoughts in our head. It’s a way of thinking things through. Tending the soil. Tempering in oil. To feel a steady flow of words to the page, even if they’re not all poetic or focused, simply feels great – like good farming or something. Thanks 750Words.Com for keeping track! 🍊🌎 #healing #healingtrauma #healingviolence #writing #endvawg #leavenoonebehind #survivors #speakupspeakout #selfexpression #contemplation #dharana #ashtanga #yoga #750wordsaday #30daystreak #mentalhealth #healthyhabits

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Day 7

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I wonder if I hadn’t been raped while making a movie in India, and even before that, if I hadn’t been a young apprentice sexually involved with my filmmaking “mentor” while making a movie in the USA, whether I would actually be making movies today – here or there or somewhere else in the world. Somewhere other than the one place I feel safe – at my mom’s house, at age 36, healing the broken pieces of my life and reconnecting with my creative will, one day at a time. Just wondering. #OrangeTheWorld 7/16 🔶 #LeaveNoOneBehind #EndVawg #EndRape #EndRapeCulture #EndSexualViolence #StartANewCulture #Healing #HealingWithYoga #Ashtanga #Yoga #Karandavasana #Courage #Survivors #SpeakUpSpeakOut #Filmmaking #YogaWithSandi

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Day 8

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Healthy eating is an essential part of healing the body & mind for everything. We Are (on a deeply pragmatic level) The Vibrations We Eat. Personally, I have chosen a predominantly plant based diet since I was about 10 years old but I only definitively stopped drinking milk and eating dairy products (like dairy based cheeses and fresh dairy yogurt that I used to enjoy making) after my experience of sexual violence in India. 🇮🇳 🐄 That experience gave me a real, visceral understanding of the horror and disgust that factory cows can feel: utterly exploited. 💔 I do not want to contribute to that feeling any further in any way whatsoever, and I’ll do what I can to help others wake up to this cycle too. Quitting dairy has been a liberating choice. I have since discovered so many plant based alternatives to dairy that are tastier, healthier, and karmically cleaner than the violent suffering we otherwise inflict upon cows. If you think it’s impossible to go dairy free – educate yourself on what most milk cows live and die like in this country 🇺🇸. Try something new. Compassion is delicious. #OrangeTheWorld 8/16 💛🌿🍊🐄❤️🐮💛🌿🍊 photo thanks to chrome webstore #leavenoonebehind #cows #animalsarepeopletoo #endvawg #ditchdairy #gotcompassion #healing #sexualviolence #healingviolence #healingrape #healingassault #healthyeating #respect #ahimsa #karma #plantbased #plantpowered #vegansofig #njvegans #govegan #vegan #goodvibes #healthandwellness #veganwithsandi

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Day 9

Day 10

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We can have body flab, mental flab, emotional flab, motivational flab, and financial flab. 😭 Fitness is not just for the body. 💪 We’ve got to strengthen, stretch, and maintain our muscles in all areas… but the body is like a vortex of all these dimensions, a focal point to begin learning how to firm up. 💛 In terms of Healing sexual assault – I feel that assault is a kind of (though often invisible to others) accident, after which you lose the ability to use your multidimensional muscles. Healing has to address muscle recovery in multiple dimensions. 🕉 This month I’m starting some more ab work to see if I can find my firm belly six pack. 🔮 In fact, connecting with the strength of the belly is naturally empowering, as it is the spatial center, the digestive center, and on a subtle body level, the center of self assertion, action, confidence. ☀️ Join me (especially if yer one of my fitness and yoga friends) and post one of your favorite ab exercises to help empower #survivors and tag me and #OrangeTheWorld so we can do it too! @unwomen 🍊🍊🍊 #OrangeTheWorld 10/16 #LeaveNoOneBehind #MeToo #Fitness #Fitfam #BodyWisdom #Strength #Survivors #EndVawg #EndSexualAssault #HealingViolence #Healing #Empowerment #Abs #Core #FightingFlab #FlabFighters #HealthAndWellness #BellyMeditation #SubtleBody #Ashtanga #Yoga #YogaWithSandi

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Day 11

Day 12

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#OrangeTheWorld 12/16 🔶 Reconnecting to the knowledge of our bodies (and not to what the media, doctors, family, friends, and pick-your-panel-of-judges say about our bodies) is an essential process to healing the epidemic of sexual assault in our culture. When we can know and respect our own body, we are less at the mercy of others opinions and actions, we are more connected to the present than to past experiences, and we come to understand our situation as workable, changeable, and liberational. 🔶 Yoga empowers us in this way. 🔶 Do you know if you’re working your abs or your hip flexors? Can you feel the difference within your body? “The abdominal muscles are core muscles, but they are not the only muscles we refer to when we speak of core training or core strength. The core group also includes: Erector Spinae Multifidus Hip Flexors (includes psoas) Diaphragm Pelvic Floor” – http://www.verywell.com/meet-your-abs-the-abdominal-muscles-2704644 🔶 #LeaveNoOneBehind #VeryWell #EndVawg #EndRapeCulture #Healing #HealingViolence #HealthAndWellness #BodyWisdom #HealingWithYoga #Abs #Core #Quads #Backbends #Strength #Flexibility #VivekaKhyati #Ashtanga #Yoga #YogaDaily #Plantbased #Plantpowered #Vegan #VeganStrong#YogaWithSandi

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Day 13

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I had no plan to do any #socialmediaactivism for 16 days but when the @unwomen campaign popped up on my feed I jumped in and discovered I have a lot to say on the subject of violence against women and girls, particularly as pertains to healing from sexual violence. There is a part of me that wishes I could just move on and get over my own experience, but the truth is that I can’t until WE do. It’s not just about ME. Knowing this, I feel #NOSHAME in talking about this subject. To the contrary, I feel #EMPOWERED to #SHARE with so many others who are fighting a daily battle to heal, transform, #RECONNECT with life on all levels. #METOO 🦊 I was moved most of all by the theme to #LEAVENOONEBEHIND and today I wave this banner because What HURTS even more when you go through #TRAUMA is the discovery that your friends and your family, indeed the world at large, do not get sidelined with you. The game goes on as if nothing happened and you get to see all the plays you would have liked to make but somehow you can’t because you’re hurt And nobody knows how to get you back on the field. In fact, only YOU can get back on the field when you’re #READY. I do believe however, if WE in our respective communities and societies, seek better #EDUCATION as to the extent of this #sexualassaultepidemic, and how and what we can each do about it, then we can reduce the violence and improve the recovery time. Therefore, it is like we have been called as #SURVIVORS who have the #FREEDOM to #speakupandspeakout, to do so, to keep the #CONVERSATION ALIVE. #OrangeTheWorld 13/16 🍊🌲 #Healing #HealingViolence

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Day 14

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#OrangeTheWorld 14/16 🔶🌲🏘🌲🔶 #Repost @refugees (@get_repost) ・・・ “I want other women to see that we can do anything, and to learn from my example.” . Who said laying bricks is a man's job? Meet Amina, a single mother of six children and a refugee from Sudan, who has taken up a job of a bricklayer after she finished vocational training courses supported by UNHCR. . Amina was the only woman enrolled in masonry training. Today she helps other women in Ajuong Thok refugee camp to fix their shelters at no cost. . In Ajuong Thok refugee camp half of almost 9,000 households are headed by women. . 📷 UNHCR /Anita Corluka #16DaysofActivism, #EndViolence, #OrangetheWorld, #RefugeeStories #Woman #Strength #SouthSudan #Sudan #YesSheCan, #Bricklayer

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Day 15

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How often do we stop listening to someone because we disagree with them about something? We get stuck at a certain point, and suddenly we think there is nothing more to do or learn with this person or group because we’ve judged them to be this or that which we don’t agree with. The problem with getting stuck like this is that we cease to grow in our relationships. We withdraw into the greed of always wanting to be acknowledged as right. In fact, listening is righteous. We can listen to another side and disagree, without having to get turned off from the possibility of ever agreeing on anything again. Indeed we may even learn from the differences. Like Tic Tocs in Mysore Ashtanga. We have to flip back and forth while remaining centered. This is dialogue. This is growth. This is balance. This is practice. I think it’s actually easier to practice it on the mat but I am trying to practice it in the world as well. Listening is giving. We can be more generous than we yet know! ☯️💜 #OrangeTheWorld 15/16 🍊 #LeaveNoOneBehind #EndVAWG #Healing #HealingViolence #Listening #Generosity #Learning #Mysore #Ashtanga #Yoga #NadiShodhana #Sadhana #TicTocs #Plantbased #Vegan #Plantpowered #Backbends #Handstands #Strength #Flexibility #Fun #8Limbs #HealthAndWellness #YogaWithSandi

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Day 16 (Happy Human Rights Day!)

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When we face our monsters – when we cease to make excuses for them and instead raise our voices to speak our truths – we turn the seeds of suffering into the fruits of #transformations. Bravo and Onward! @unwomen 👏🍊🙏 #OrangeTheWorld 16/16 🙌🍊👏 #Repost @equalitynoworg (@get_repost) ・・・ On 6 December, TIME magazine declared the “Silence Breakers” as “Person of the Year,” reinforcing what we already know. You and your fellow everyday activists – speaking out for women, girls and gender equality – are the solution. So for #HumanRightsDay today, take the time to celebrate you! * * * #humanrights #equalitynow25 #makeequalityreality #findyourvoice #silencebreakers

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