Matthew Remski

Matthew Remski

Critical Thought & Yoga

Matthew has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1996, learning from teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist, Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Iyengar streams. Along the way he has trained as a yoga therapist and an Ayurvedic consultant, and maintained a private practice in Toronto from 2007 to 2015. From 2008 through 2012 he co-directed Yoga Festival Toronto and Yoga Community Toronto, non-profit activist organizations dedicated to promoting open dialogue and accessibility. During that same period he studied jyotiśhāstra in a small oral-culture setting at the Vidya Institute in Toronto.

Matthew currently facilitate programming for yoga trainings internationally, focusing on yoga philosophy, culture, and the social psychology of healthy communities. In all subject areas, he encourage students to explore how yoga practice can resist the psychic and material dominance of neoliberalism, and the quickening pace of environmental destruction.

Matthew is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Of Threads of Yoga: a remix of Patanjali’s Sutras with commentary and reverie, scholar Mark Singleton writes: “I don’t know of any reading of the yoga sutras as wildly creative, as impassioned and as earnest as this. it engages Patanjali and the reader in an urgent, electrified conversation that weaves philosophy, symbolist poetry, psychoanalysis and cultural history. There’s a kind of delight and freshness in this book that is very rare in writing on yoga, and especially rare in writing on the yoga sutras. This is a Patanjali for postmoderns, less a translation than a startlingly relevant report on our current condition, through the prism of this ancient text.”

Matthew’s most recent book, Practice and All is Coming: Abuse, Cult Dynamics, and Healing in Yoga and Beyond is earning praise internationally as a groundbreaking resource for critical thinking and community health.

Matthew Remski lives in Toronto with his partner and two sons.

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Friday, 19.06
13:15 • 150 MIN
Critical Thinking & Community Health: Working Through the Abuse Crisis in Yoga (Part 1 – Live Video)

Saturday, 20.06
09:00 • 150 MIN
Critical Thinking & Community Health: Working Through the Abuse Crisis in Yoga (Part 2 – Live Video)

Yoga practice is only as therapeutic and transformative as the communities that hold it are ethical, healthy, and resilient. Sadly, too many yoga communities have failed to deliver, while nevertheless portraying the experience of yoga in wholly positive terms.

Yoga practices and communities are prismatic: they throw off a full spectrum of light and dark colours. In this unique series of workshops, we’ll play close attention to that range of experiences — from transformative to traumatic — as reported by people from many yoga communities. The intention is to encourage a practice of acknowledging and healing trauma patterns in the culture, so that communities can expand their inclusivity.

The discernment aspect of the workshops will use historical data to explore the interpersonal and structural aspects of harm and institutional betrayal in yoga communities over the past fifty years. We’ll look at how sexual abuse has been enabled by learning environments of toxic masculinity, somatic dominance and spiritual mystification, and supported and hidden by cultic dynamics.

Central to these is the PRISM method, a practice to Pause, Research, Investigate, Show, and Model community health. Attendees will come away from this module with a clear and positive vision of how to preserve and nurture what they truly value about yoga as they share it with others.

Please note: Matthew will be joining us via a Live Video format.