Queer critique, queer practice: embodied teachings for healing from trauma and social injustice.
Jacoby Ballard provides an empowering and affirming guide to embodied healing through yoga and the dharma, grounded in the brilliance, resilience, and lived experiences of queer folks.
Part I deconstructs the ways mainstream yoga perpetuates queer- and transphobia and other systemic oppressions, exploring the intersections of yoga, capitalism, cultural appropriation, and sexual violence. Ballard also addresses the trauma--complex, vicarious, historical, and collective--perpetuated against queer communities. In response, he offers tools for self-compassion, tonglen, lovingkindness, and grounding, and helps readers explore questions like:
What is trauma? How is it a product of injustice--and how can healing it create justice?
The world won't stop being homo- and transphobic, so how do I encounter that in a way that does the least harm?
How do we love what is uniquely trans about us?
What are affinity groups, and why do we need them?
In part II, Ballard offers a queer-centered, fully embodied, and equity-rooted practice with meditations, practices, and sequences for processing and healing from trauma individually and in community. He explains concepts like lovingkindness, letting go, compassion, joy, forgiveness, and equanimity through a queer lens, and pairs each with corresponding meditations, practices, and beautiful line drawings of queer bodies.
Enhanced with stories from Ballard's personal practice and professional experience teaching yoga in schools, prisons, conferences, and his weekly Queer and Trans Yoga class, A Queer Dharma is a guidebook, reclamation, and unapologetically queer heart offering for true healing and transformation.
About the Author
Jacoby Ballard is a social justice educator, yoga teacher, and Buddhist teacher-in-training. As a yoga teacher with 20 years of experience, he leads workshops and trainings around the country on diversity, equity, and inclusion-inviting participants into the inner process and the outer manifestations of that practice on high school and college campuses, and in yoga spaces, trainings, and retreat centers, and runs the Resonance Mentorship Program for certified yoga teachers to find their niche and calling. Ballard has taught in schools, hospitals, nonprofit and business offices, a maximum security prison, a recovery center, a cancer center, LGBT centers, gyms, and a veteran's center as well as many yoga studios. Ballard has been an advisor to the Yoga Service Council since 2014, and on the Faculty of Off the Mat, Into the World since 2016, and consults for Lululemon, Yoga Journal, and Yoga Alliance. He is currently being mentored by Buddhist teacher DaRa Williams in the Insight lineage. Find more at jacobyballard.net.