How Indigenous yogis and meditators are adapting and reclaiming ‘wellness’ – CBC

‘The practice of yoga is to bring us closer to a spirit … and that’s embedded in our ways of being’

Jan 14, 2023

Yoga classes are often meant to bring a sense of peace and serenity to practitioners, but Tareyn Johnson remembers one that did the exact opposite.

The Anishinaabe woman, who’s a member of Georgina Island First Nation, says she started practising yoga — which has its roots in India — several years ago to find calmness and help reduce regular migraines. She later dove deep into the ancient practice’s history and philosophy by completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training program in Ottawa, where she lives.

This specific yoga session was taught by a white instructor at an Ottawa studio.

“[The teacher] brought out what she called her ‘sacred medicine bundle.’ And she smudged. And then she put on some music and … talked about being trained by a medicine man,” Johnson recalled in an episode of CBC’s Unreserved.

“I just had to walk out of the class at that point.”

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