07 De-spa-ifying Healing & Accessibility -- Third Root Community Health Center

In this episode, members of the Third Root Community Health Center collective join host Kate Werning for a conversation about somatic symptoms of oppression and the increased pressures since the 2016 election, in what ways Trump and our current political environment is making us sick, what it would look like to de-spa-ify healing and make it part of our everyday lives instead of a luxury commodity, and how organizers and leaders can make our movement spaces more accessible to the widest range of folks with varying capacities. (Bonus: they also sing a song!)

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Referenced in this episode

You can see Third Root’s space access statement at bottom of their website, www.thirdroot.org

Bending Toward Justice: recommended social justice training for yoga teachers

About our guests

THIRD ROOT is a holistic healthcare center in Brooklyn, NY offering yoga, acupuncture, East Asian medicine, massage, herbal medicine, and wellness education. They are a multi-racial, cross-class, intergenerational community, and a worker-owner cooperative. Third Root manifests a world where we all belong, we are all healing, and we are all welcome in our wholeness. Collective members include Geleni Fontaine, Jomo Alaquais Simmons, Julia Bennett, Emily Kramer, and Nicolette Dixon. More at www.thirdroot.org

Geleni Fontaine, a collective member of Third Root, is a fat, queer, Latina/o transperson raised and thriving in Brooklyn, New York. They are a graduate of the Swedish Institute School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine where I studied Traditional and Classical Chinese Medicine with Jeffrey Yuen, 88th generation Taoist priest and healer. They’re also a registered nurse and use knowledge of Western allopathic medicine to support individuals navigating both healthcare systems. Geleni is a member of the Rock Dove Collective, a group of healers, providers, and activists coordinating a radical community health exchange in NYC; a former board member of the Audre Lorde Project, the first queer people of color center for community organizing in the U.S.; and NOLOSE, an organization dedicated to ending the oppression of fat people and creating vibrant fat queer culture. They have a 13-year history of training and teaching martial arts and have worked many years with the Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE) as a youth educator, anti-violence activist, and crisis intervention worker. This experience has lent to their understanding of healing as a mind / body / spirit construct that includes support for individuals as well as radical responses to the institutional oppression we face as communities.

Emily Kramer is a yoga teacher and collective member at Third Root, where the crossroads of her work as a movement professional, social justice activist and spiritual seeker joyfully meet. In her classes, Emily invites us to pay attention to subtleties of our sensation and alignment in order to create space internally, making way for healing and discovery. She encourages students always to honor their own bodies and beings, while valuing the community aspect of the space. She has specialized training in anatomy, backcare, anxiety/depression, addiction, trauma-sensitivity, and yoga for young people. She studied with Off the Mat, Into the World, Alison West at Yoga Union, SchoolYoga Institute, Street Yoga, Bent on Learning, Leslie Kaminoff / the Breathing Project, Jyll Hubbard-Salk, Elena Brower, Larry Yang and many inspired teachers on this path. In 2009, she created Spirit Boxing, a workshop that combines her experience as a former amateur boxer and yogini, to serve women, youth, and queer / trans community. She has also facilitated movement and outdoor education programming with young people ages 6 – 15 since 2006. She has collaborated with Girls for Gender Equity and the Center for Anti-violence Education, and has taught through Bent on Learning, Safe Horizon, Kripalu, Columbia and Cornell Universities.

Practice: Emotional Freedom Technique

Check out the next episode for a simple tapping practice called Emotional Freedom Technique.

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