All-male yoga and the quest for comfort

When I was assigned to cover all-male yoga at Shaare Torah Congregation last week, my initial thought was what to wear. As a runner, I have drawers of neon shirts promising both visibility and breathability. Similarly, my running shorts are designed to increase flexibility and performance. Believing that an hour of yoga would be akin to a light jog, I donned a short-sleeve shirt, running shorts and a base layer of running tights — we were going to be indoors, and with so much leg exposure I didn’t know whether I would get cold.

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Felicia Savage Friedman

For over 28 years, Felicia has continued to joyfully practice Raja Yoga, which encompasses all aspects of her life: behavioral restraints, behavioral observances, movement, breathing techniques, sensory withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and self-realization through an intimate reflective practice.

Felicia presently teaches 8 integrative group yoga classes at The Kingsley Association and The Ace Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA: Power Yoga 4 Athletic, Yoga 4 Gentlemen Only, Restorative, and Gentle Yoga classes. She continues to teach private, integrative yoga sessions with community members wherever they live, work and play. As an Antiracist Integrative Raja Yoga Teacher, Felicia is supporting ongoing antiracist organizing efforts in communities, organizations and institutions through using The People’s Institute For Survival And Beyond’s Undoing Racism Principles (PISAB) © across the country along side Integrative Yoga Contemplative Modalities to assist community members in holistically managing all aspects of their lives while being at the grassroots level of antiracist organizing.

September 2016 through August 2017, YogaRoots On Location’s Certified Yoga Teacher Training (YROL YTT) marked the inaugural year of her 200-hour registered yoga teacher certification training with curriculum that engaged, educated, and assisted her 27 students to access their power and holistically manage their lives through healing justice techniques, the PISAB’s Undoing Racism Principles and organizing strategies that promote self-awareness and self-care approaches to encourage consistent self-reflective learning and teaching practices that address personal prejudices, biases and authentically and strategically dismantles institutionalized racism. The second flight of YROL YTT is scheduled April 2018-November 2018, East Liberty, Pittsburgh, PA. Check out the YogaRoots On Location 2016-2017 YTT blog, which was a requirement to reflect on the daily or weekly training weekends.

Felicia in her copious amounts of free time from building her business YogaRoots On Location, LLC, ® she upgrades her serving by volunteering with two organizations:

American Friends Service Program Committee, Convener (Chair) on the Program Committee, a Quaker organization that locally is committed Racial Justice Through Human Rights Youth Group by exploring the roots of violence and working towards youth-led change to support our Youth Undoing Institutionalized Racism in holding other youth as well as adults to a higher standard of humanity using the People’s institute or Survival and Beyond Undoing Racism Principles.

New Voices for Reproductive Health Board of Directors, Board member, promotes the complete health and well-being of Black women and girls in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Philadelphia locally, nationally, and global movement building for Human Rights, Racial and Gender Justice.

Felicia’s newest endeavors are working on integrated yoga curriculum that will certify youth ages 13-18 to become certified yoga teachers with YogaRoots On Location and working with business partners on The New Woke, a business venture to assist social justice advocates to access their personal power and reclaim our Humanity as heterogeneous communities.