Tag Archives: Self-Care

Agni Yoga Offers Self-Care For Queer People

Self-care is vital. Sometimes you need emotional self-care, like watching your favorite movie or spending time meditating or with friends. Sometimes you need physical self-care, like going for a run or eating salad. Agni’s Queer and Trans Yoga Class offers the best of both.

This weekly class is specifically geared toward protecting the mental and physical health of people from marginalized communities. This yoga class is two parts yoga, one part poetry slam; the class leaders incorporate poetry and the healing practice of reiki into each session.

Above all, this class aims to be a safe space. One of its organizers, E. Parker Phillips, describes the class as “fat-positive, body positive, kink-positive, multiracial, multigenerational, and feminist.” Before the class, organizers put signs

The class tries to be as accessible as possible. Before the class, organizers put signs on the male changing rooms that those rooms are open to people of all genders. “We seek to create a space where transgender and nonbinary people don’t have to worry about where they are going to pee, especially when they are there to take care of their selves and their bodies,” Phillips says. The center is wheelchair-accessible. And while many yoga spaces across the US are the domain of wealthy women who can afford to spend hundreds of dollars per month, Agni asks only for a suggested donation of $5.

Every aspect of the class is designed to encourage emotional openness. The organizers read poetry before and after class and even perform reiki healing. And instead of the physically intensive hot yoga that is encouraged for losing body fat, Agni focuses on the yin style, which requires participates to hold poses for longer periods of time and focus on their breathing.

This is more than just a yoga session. It’s also a learning space that emphasizes the link between self-care and resistance. Each class educates participants on “transgender stigma, sex worker stigma, the destructiveness of white supremacy, and the limitations of capitalism.” Many people wander into these sessions by accident, not expecting a queer-friendly self-care movement, but leave educated and empowered.

Currently, Agni is only in Miami, but we all hope that other studios will follow their model. If you’re interested in yoga, then learn more about the class to drop in or start a similar practice in your area.

Stay Warm This Winter With a Free Self-Care Package

Winter is especially hard for many LGBT people. In addition to having to endure holidays with less-than-welcoming family members, queer people must contend with freezing temperatures, lots of darkness and sometimes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And, of course, Donald Trump becomes President this January.

Everyone Is Gay is here to save the day.

They’ve released an online self-care package in order to help you get through the long winter ahead. The package, Where the Love Light Gleams, is free and available to download whenever you need it.

This package is full of goodies. Listen to a Jenny Owens Young-curated playlist featuring everything from Mariah Carey to The Shins to Ella Fitzgerald. Read their advice about getting through the holidays and practicing self-care, or their essays about LGBT life. The package also includes professional resources that you can access in order to get help.

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial: That’s not all.

You can write your thoughts on the printable journal pages or shade in the coloring pages. Fill out the holiday+queer-themed crossword puzzle. Finish the package by reading the world’s most adorable winter comic featuring a cat in long johns and Uggs.

According to its creators, Where the Love Light Gleams exists “so that – no matter what – you get a dose of love and kindness (and coloring and music and crosswords…)!”

There’s only one thing that this care package cannot provide: friendship. If possible, spend as much time as you can with your friends this winter, especially if you cannot or do not want to visit your family. Support each other. Encourage each other. Find a close community as the temperatures drop and the Inauguration comes and goes. Companionship is vital during these (literally and figuratively) dark months.

When you’re done with the care package, check the official Everyone is Gay website for continued self-care. The site features essays about identity and politics, advice about activism, gender and religion, and lists of professional resources divided by state so that you can find LGBT organizations near you.