Yoga is a practice of liberation. It is one of many ways to explore the gifts of embodiment, connection, and Grace. But yoga classes do not always feel like an exploration of liberation and Grace, especially for queer folks. Yoga for Queers and Misfits was born in October 2010 to provide queer folks with an alternative to the average, "mainstream" yoga class experience. I specifically created YfQ for queer, gender nonconforming, hairy-bodied and otherwise 'othered' folks to provide a safer space in which to explore the practice of yoga as liberation. Where typical classes can be prohibitively expensive and take place in spaces which are uncomfortably bourgie, homogenous and elitist, YfQ is donation-based and offered in a community setting. Since the body itself can be a site of trauma and challenge, especially for queer folks, Yoga for Queers offers a unique opportunity for queer, gender non-conforming, and otherwise othered folks to explore embodiment, healing, community-building, and liberation in (what is hopefully) a safe(r) and welcoming space.
I first heard of Patty’s Yoga for Queers & Misfits classes through friends active in queer organizing in Greensboro. As someone who loves both yoga and queerness, I was really interested to hear Patty talk about how she she connects the two in her teaching and personal practice. After interviewing Patty and several of her students, I’m curious about the other ways in which people might be queering their own yoga experiences, as well as what other practices queer-identified people employ to resist the toxicity and isolation that Patty mentions in this episode.