The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast
246: Anger, Forgiveness & Self-Care with Jacoby Ballard
Anger is a very human emotion that almost all of us experience, but society often encourages us to suppress it. Yet, dismissing, denying, or suppressing anger can cause it to spill out in the wrong way and unintentionally harm others. In this episode, Jacoby Ballard shares more about how anger, forgiveness, and self-care tie in together.
Jacoby Ballard is a social justice educator and yoga teacher with 20 year of experience. Since 2006, Jacoby has taught Queer and Trans Yoga, a space for queer folks to unfurl and cultivate resilience, and in 2008, they co-founded Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn to work at the nexus of healing and social justice. They lead workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, teach at conferences, and run a mentorship program specifically for yoga teachers, in addition to consulting in the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) space. Jacoby is also the author of a new book, A Queer Dharma: Yoga and Meditations for Liberation, released in 2021.
When we feel anger, we may think it is out of line with being ‘yogic’. Jacoby addresses this perception and explains how we can begin to understand and process the anger that we may feel. They share tips for calming the nervous system, strategies to integrate what’s going on in the world into your own practice, and how our daily practice can help up show up in the work that we do. Jacoby also shares more about their new book and what they have learned from the experience of writing it.
This is a remarkable episode that will speak to anyone who is feeling tired, worn down, angry, struggling to forgive or to be forgiven, or feeling ready to take on new challenges and wanting to gather their energy.
[3:40] Shannon does a little check in with you.
[6:42] Check out Jacoby's book and join the book launch party!
[9:12] Shannon gives a shout out to Schedulicity.
[11:09] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jacoby Ballard.
[13:31] What does Jacoby do and who do they do it for?
[15:34] We may experience anger when looking at the injustices in the world, but this can feel like it's not in line with yoga. What are Jacoby's thoughts on that?
[18:15] What are some healthy ways to discharge anger and calm the nervous system?
[20:54] Society often encourages us to suppress anger and big emotions. How can we encourage healthy expression of this?
[23:43] What are some things we can do when we feel like we can't receive someone's message because of their anger?
[25:52] How does Jacoby integrate what's happening in the world into their own practice?
[28:50] Jacoby talks about how their daily practice and routines really enables them to show up in the work they do.
[31:07] What does Jacoby's self practice look like?
[34:54] Jacoby reads an excerpt from their book.
[37:12] Jacoby shares their experience of writing the book.
[39:27] What are some other examples of anger coming up that we should care about?
[39:27] What are some issues that Jacoby cares deeply about in the yoga world?
[40:31] Jacoby and Shannon discuss the question of 200hr yoga teacher trainings.
[42:42] As humans, we are going to feel harm and we are going to harm others.
[45:43] Jacoby shares their experience of teaching about compassion in a prison.
[50:59] Jacoby leaves us with a concluding message for yoga teachers.
Gratitude to our Sponsors, Schedulicity, and Pelvic Health Professionals (Coupon: Connected2021).
Quotes from this episode:
"Anger is a very human emotion and if we dismiss it, or deny it, or oppress it then it's going to come out in all the wrong places and probably all over those that we care about most in our lives."
"If we don't look at the anger first, then we can't get to the heartbreak, the fear, or the exhaustion. And if we can't get there, then we can't heal, we can't get to the other side."
"Having the daily practices allows me to be grounded in myself, remember my commitment, remember my purpose, and then turn back towards whatever is calling my attention on a given day."
"I must create boundaries that protect me from internalizing harm while practicing compassion that allows me to remain sensitive to suffering around the world."
"Anger tells us, pay attention! Anger gives us the energy to do something, for something precious is being killed, injured, threatened, tarnished, taken, abused, polluted, appropriated or harmed."
"Working with feedback, inviting feedback and working with it really conscientiously is so important in so many yoga dharma spaces."