EP 142: Yoga, Power and Fundamentalism – Finding Humility and Balance with Richard Freeman

In this episode, Kimberly and Richard discuss yoga, spiritual teachings, finding balance within, honoring lineages and history, and community-focused practices versus individualized ones. They discuss the impact of the pandemic on various communities such as the yoga community, acknowledging our shadow selves, and turning our individual yoga and spiritual practices to tangible ways to support and better communities and our world. This episode is rich with Richard’s wisdom and understandings of various yogic, Hindu, and Buddhist teachings and principles, his experiences traveling and learning about these lineages, and philosophies for balancing our inner and outer selves to ultimately benefit others.



Richard Freeman has been practicing yoga since 1968. He has taught yoga and trained yogas all over the world. His work joins together a vast array of teachings and perspectives, in keeping with the richness of this ancient tradition. You can find more information on Richard’s teachings on his website.


What He Shares: 

–Impact of pandemic

–Fracturing in yoga communities

–Acknowledging and finding balance between our shadow and light selves

–Understanding histories and lineages in ancient traditions and practices

–Teacher/student power-issues in yoga

–Contributing to social good through individual practice


What You’ll Hear:

–Fracturing in yoga community over pandemic

–Predispositions toward polarity and fundamentalism

–Opposing groups coming together over common enemy

–Dealing with unknown and uncomfortable not knowing regarding pandemic

–Finding common ground when understand the “other”

–Pratipaksha the other wing, bhavana (contemplate the other wing)

–Different obstacles where one wing is associated with heavy emotions and cause suffering, contemplate opposite wing of emotion

–Practice which visualizes the other in order to cultivate empathy and understanding

–Applicable for serious and miniscule problems

–Mind slips anything into ego-centered

–Not hurting others or yourself

–Shadow sides can be projected out or not recognized within oneself

–Acknowledging not suppressing shadow potential of own minds

–Many yoga/spiritual practices avoid this intellectual honesty

–Feel negative emotions in context with other social support to hold and observe

–Embody it in a way that doesn’t destroy you or others

–Discerning intuition, multiple realities, and fundamentalism

–Being open to feedback

–Balancing and feeling the middle path physically and intellectually

–Experimenting physical practice with intellectual/interior life

–Impact of social media on brain/mind/energetic system overall

–Some social media beneficial in yoga world

–Ego/mind are creative and can be used for good or destruction

–Social media fast-paced, scary, and mind-blowing

–Done in context of ancient historical traditions of insight done slowly over thousands of years

–Benefits of social media for community

–Convenience and pace of convenience are part of issues regarding community, climate, etc.

–Describes time in India through Middle East and Europe during 1970s

–Similarities in people of different religions and traditions

–Importance of understanding history in religious traditions around the world

–Appropriation versus appreciation through understanding history, honoring lineage, and humility

–Dynamic of teacher/student relationship in yoga

–Discerning teachers, practices, and other aspects of yoga within commodification

–Finding the true Teacher (Beloved) in the heart

–Many teachers are attracted to power of being the expert

–Good teacher encourages you to stay open minded

–Epidemic of problem teachers in yoga and spiritual traditions

–Hindu teachings on discernment principles

–Two-wing image, supportive of each-other, because of intelligence as one

–Patterns of immediate sensation giving birth to story lines and labels

–Under-pinnings of practice individual work not necessarily impacting the collective

–Practicing for self-improvement or for community improvement

–Conceding comfort for tangible benefit of other people

–Individual practice branching out to ever-expanding environments

–Chant together



Website: https://www.richardfreemanyoga.com/

Your FREE Checklist

How to Lead a MotherBlessing