#9 Susanna Barkataki

Susanna Barkataki is a yoga unity activist, teacher, speaker and author of the book Embracing Yoga’s Roots (to be released in November 2020). Susanna’s main work is about sharing ways in which we can teach and practice yoga in the modern world, while honouring it’s roots. In this episode of the YAY!YOGA podcast we talk about cultural appropriation and how colonisation influenced the way yoga was introduced to the West, the ethics of yoga, how to preserve yoga culture, whether you should speak Sanskrit and say ‘Namasté’ at the end of a yoga class and so much more.

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susanna barkataki quote

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Ayurveda is considered the sister of yoga. It means ‘science of life’ and is all about balancing the elements that are within us. Ayurvedic practices include all the senses through diet, pranayama, yoga asana, meditation, mantra and specific rituals of self-care.
  • Dhyana is one of the eight limbs of yoga and is about meditation. Dharana, one of the other limbs, is about focusing the mind.
  • The Yamas and the Niyamas are the first two limbs of yoga; these are considered the yoga ethics or principles of how to live a good life.
  • Susanna studied in the lineage of Shankaracharya, who was an non-dualistic Raja Yogi and is considered one of the greatest philosophers of India. He influenced more modern gurus of India, such as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Shivananda, Ramana Maharshi, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (who taught the Beatles) and Paramahansa Yogananda.
  • Jñāna-yoga is the yoga of knowledge. It’s very much about ethics and how to practice these ethics in daily life to find freedom.
  • Vichara is about self-inquiry, a big part of Jñāna-yoga. It’s about asking questions such as ‘Who am I?’, ‘How did this world come to being?’ and ‘What is a good life?’
  • Ahimsa is one of the Yamas and it is translated as non-harm.
  • The Jains are a group of yogis that makes Ahimsa to their main practice. They wear masks and sweep floors to move bugs out of their way so they don’t step on them or hurt them.
  • Susanna’s article about ending your class with Namasté and alternative ways of ending your class.
  • Susanna’s book ‘Embrace Yoga’s Roots’ is coming out soon and you can receive a free chapter.
  • Recommended books:
    Yoga: Ancient Heritage, Tomorrow’s Vision by Indu Arora
    Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s by Shyam Ranganathan
  • Favorite translations of the Bhagavad Gita:
    The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran
    The Bhagavad Gita: a new translation by Stephen Mitchell
  • Teachers that inspire Susanna: Jesal Parikh and Tejal Patel (founders of the Yoga is Dead podcast) & Melissa Shah

Connect with Susanna Barkataki

Instagram: @susannabarkataki
Website: www.susannabarkataki.com

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