Alexander Shelton Yoga Presents Black Rest

Alexander Shelton Yoga Presents Black Rest

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United Way of Greater Cincinnati

2400 Reading Road

Cincinnati, OH 45202

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"You do not have to earn rest. Rest is your birthright." Tricia Hersey, of The Nap Ministry

About this event

Rest is a human right but often denied to the poor, Black and otherwise multi- marginalized around the world. I want to reframe the idea of rest being a luxury to a basic necessity that should be afforded to us all. While doing so I hope to engage the larger framework of racial capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy and uplift anti supremacy work. I would love to impart on Black people that before we were stolen and forced to labor tirelessly for 400 years, this has not always been our reality or a necessity for survival. I would like to use a tool that has been utilized for over 100,000 years to help Black people self determine our next steps forward.

Over the last year the labor/ workload/ resource balance hit a breaking point for Black women asked to labor on the frontlines, facilitate e-learning classrooms and hold down the house with less resources and more uncertainty. I would like to hold this space primarily for Black women, Black moms, and whoever else would not normally prioritize rest or feel entitled to rest. I would like to facilitate these rest workshops to make rest the primary objective.

I see community as a living breathing body. Though there are overarching super structures that contribute to limited access due to race, class, and gender, a community is comprised of people. I hope to show these people the power of rest and reserving their labor. I would like to use these rest workshops to cultivate individual power in each participant and how we can harness radical rest and Black wellness as tools of collective power to affect our individual lives, our families, our communities, and our built environment. By capturing the work through audio, video, photos or live streams, this creating access to digital and physical spaces to community build with and for Black People. With the space to dream and bring ease back into our existence excavates our humanity. We can find the tools help to curve out more powerful coping strategies to process stress, trauma, and actively resist white supremacy all while resting. Together, we can envision benevolent and healthier black families and communities.

I would like to take 10 people into each of these rest classes holding 1 class per week for 6 weeks and 3 separate installations with the capacity to engage 60-100 people en rest. I would like to give each participant a journal, a sleeping mask and lavender spray. The classes would last for 1h 30 minutes and insights be discretely captured through surveys, audio or video with the consent of the people in the workshops

Workshops themes I am looking to explore:

  • Communal Rest
  • Rest For Grief
  • Rest For Anxiety
  • Rest For Racial Trauma
  • Rest For Families
  • Rest For Moms
  • Rest For Children
  • Chair Yoga for Every Body
  • Black Meditations for Rest and Introspection
  • Sound Healing for Black Rest

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