Jordan Smiley is a 500-hour RYT transgender yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer based in Denver, Colorado. With June being Pride month, we asked Smiley to create an empowering sequence that cultivates compassion for the Self and others, and explain why each pose makes him feel proud.
Yoga helped save my life.
It’s because of the practice that I have a peaceful relationship with my body, tools to coach my mind, and a continuously deepening sense of compassion—both for myself and for others.
Compassion is, I believe, the prerequisite for feeling proud to be transgender. Yet, the moments that make me feel the most proud often come from my yoga students, when they talk to me less about progress in postures and more about progress in the way they relate to themselves. “I can face my fibromyalgia after your class ... because of yoga I’m getting sober ... I’m less intimidated by others ... your classes have helped me change my gender." I beam when students tell me these things—when I can tell they are charging hard toward fearless and radical self-transformation.
The following sequence cultivates not only self-compassion, but also self-acceptance, or what I like to call self-awareness-as-self-love. Ultimately, transforming profound wounds is the path. What happens when we value self-awareness in daily life over Handstand selfies on the beach? We can stop the momentum of our traumas and our culture's traumas, and we can act in awareness that our healing impacts others. Because at the end of the day, our self-transformation is for all, and that makes me proud of yogis, my queer and trans communities, and the radiant place where we intersect.
Through this work, may all beings be happy and free.
10 Powerful (and Empowering) Poses for Pride
About Our Writer
Jordan Smiley is a full-time 500-hour RYT transgendered yoga teacher, yoga teacher trainer, and mentor based in Denver, Colorado. He aspires to practice and inspire radical transformation and lionhearted love. Instagram: @jordansmiley. Online: www.theinbodymeantproject.com