Shamanic Yoga Institute

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When We Call on the Lineage

By definition, lineage is an unbroken line of descendants that trace their origin from a common ancestor or founder. In the context of mystery schools, this refers to a sacred tradition of passing knowledge from teacher to student through a series of secret transmissions and initiations decided upon by the master. Most lineages are exclusive in their membership and claim to operate as such to serve the collective obligation of upholding the integrity and legitimacy of their teachings. In structures where authority is hierarchal in its nature, we find an imbalance in privilege, status, and agency. Across time and culture this has consistently resulted in perversions of power and abuse.

As a school, we align with the post-lineage model of yoga, which applies critical theory paradigms to decentralize power. We aim to carry forward the technologies of the sacred in collaboration, held accountable to our communities and the more-than-human realms. We acknowledge the source cultures of the teachings that we share and are by no means anti-lineage. As yogini, researcher and scholar, Theodora Wildcroft beautifully articulates:

“Post-lineage yoga rejects the idea that any individual yogic text or modern alignment paradigm can hold complete universal truth and rejects unquestioning allegiance to a single deity in the form of a living or historical figure. It rejects the common practice of attributing any harm caused within the practice to defects in the practitioner, and seeks to re-situate the practice in community, and socio-political contexts. Post-lineage yoga is a re-evaluation of the authority to determine practice, and a privileging of peer networks over pedagogical hierarchies, or sanghas (communities) over guru-śiṣya (teacher-adept) relationships.

What do we mean when we say lineage?

When we open sacred space and invoke an unbroken lineage of light carriers, we are calling forward an essence that is clean and clear from the histories and imprints of power distortions and perversions. We are not sourcing from a person, or a tribe, or a single doctrine. There is no human keyholder determining our access to the wisdom and power of non-dual consciousness. It is both formless and timeless and can be found in liminal space, where we and we alone can realign with purpose and free will. This is a lineage that acknowledges the forgotten ones, it reclaims the Feminine.

We call on this lineage in our work and our lives as a form of activism and social justice. We ask for assistance from a source that can end adversarial contracts and deconstruct old pedagogies seeped in oppression, femicide, abuse, and colonialism. Supported by this inexhaustible resource, we can transmit light, and step into the place that has been held for us since before time. Audacious and risk-taking, we say yes to taking part as creatrixes of new systems.

It’s time to build your own relationship to lineage and ask yourself, what does this new world need from you?

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