Tara Sonali Miller
Date, Time, Location
Wednesday, October 20th, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
In-Person & Livestream
(see In-Person protocols below)
Fundraiser. Use a regular pass option or donate $20+. Equity pricing is available!
Join us for our inaugural class in our old/new, (re)opened studio. The class will be live-streamed so you can practice either in-person or from the comfort of your home.
We'll move and breathe together in celebration of this new phase for our Center and all that is coming to completion in your life and in our collective, as well as release what is ready to be let go of in order to make way for this next lunar cycle.
This class will help raise funds to cover start-up opening costs for our BIPOC, South Asian, and Queer-owned Center. No prior experience with yoga necessary - all are welcome, from seasoned practitioners to folks who are new to yoga. Tara will be your guide, offering grounding, warm, and approachable instruction.
If you’d like to join in person please pre-register online, send us a picture of your vaccination card to firstname.lastname@example.org, and show up with your own mat, mask, and towel to practice with.
In-Person Protocols and Cancellation Policy
If you would like to take this class in-person please register in advance, as spaces are limited, and follow these protocols:
Email us your proof of vaccination at email@example.com
Bring your mask and wear it at all times in the studio
Bring your own mat and a towel to layer over props
If you need to cancel and are registered in one of the limited in-person spots, please do so as soon as possible so others can practice in the studio. In this case, please consider donating anyways, as this is a fundraiser. Thank you for your continued support!
Yoga, for me, is everything. By which I mean it is pure bliss, it is heartbreaking, it is confusing and hard, it’s essential and rooting, it’s connection to lineage and ancestors in a way that is blurry and felt, it is energizing and exhausting in all the realms - mind, body, spirit. I come to yoga, and to my teaching, as a South Asian person, as a person of diaspora, more specifically as an upper-caste Hindu, Mayalee person, as a mixed person, an Eastern European Jewish person. As able-bodied. As queer, genderfluid. As a survivor. My journey with the practices and teachings of yoga is intimately linked with these identities and experiences. I’m so grateful to my guides & teachers, and especially my ammamma, for always celebrating the importance of this path and my exploration.
I approach the practices of yoga with an acknowledgement of their oppressive layers, both those inherent to yoga and the way it has been codified for centuries, and those created through co-optation in service to racial capitalism, Bhraminical supremacy, genocide, and colonialism. At the same time, I feel and believe in the liberatory power and potential of yoga. In its capacity to move us deeper towards individual and collective healing, into true interdependence with each other and with the earth. In my personal practice and in my teaching, I strive to center this potential in all its complexities, and to create a trauma-sensitive container that facilitates curiosity, rest, stability, ease, play, connection, and release.
I come to my leadership role at the Center with a range of experience in community-building and engagement, racial justice organizing, social services management, health and wellness, education, facilitation, program and project management, systems analysis, and changework. I first arrived at the Bhakti Yoga Movement Center (then named the Bhaktishop) after a conversation with my mother, in which we confessed to each other our desire to practice yoga in Portland, and committed to each other that we would not let the yoga industry’s Whiteness, cultural appropriation, size-bias, classism, and perpetuation or willful ignorance of Hindu nationalism keep us from accessing practices created by our people, South Asian people. We promised each other that we would attend classes together, so that we’d never be the only brown person, let alone South Asian person, in the room.
The task of finding a yoga studio in Portland whose teachers, fellow students, and general environment would support, rather than negatively impact, our wellness was daunting. I was drawn to the BYMC first by its explicit and tangible commitment to redistribute and raise funds for radical organizations. And then, by thoughtful teachers who encouraged us to arrive to practice as we were, to allow rather than bypass our rage and grief, to get curious and play - prioritizing our own experience over the image or idea of a pose, to cry and laugh, to bring the messiness and devastation and joy of our world onto our mats and into our collective practice. My journey with the space and community of the BYMC has not always been easy or without conflict and I know and believe that we still have so much work to do. I’m here because I believe that work is possible, and I’m committed to doing it with you, our dear community.
After many years of consistent yoga asana practice, I completed my teacher training with the Center in 2020. I am incredibly grateful to the teachers of that yoga school - Lisa Mae, Zeyah, Monicka, Danielle H, Danielle J, Monica, Britt, and Theresia - to fellow student-teachers in my cohort, to my healer and friend, Kirin Bhatti, and to many other living, ancestor, human and nonhuman guides who facilitate my learning and connection to these practices.