333: Does Yoga Lineage Matter? with Kim Weeks

Many of us have learned, practiced, and taught yoga for years, but we are often unaware of our yoga lineage. What exactly is yoga lineage and why does it matter? Should we be teaching yoga without understanding the history of that lineage of yoga? How can we be more mindful of this in teaching yoga and communicating it with our yoga students? Kim Weeks shares her insights.

Kim has over 20 years of teaching, training, running businesses, and consulting in the yoga and mindfulness industry. In 2019, Kim began working closely with Dr. Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School to create The Yoga Lineage Series for Yoga Alliance. Today, she continues that work on her podcast The Weeks Well podcast, which is about the modern practice of being your best self in your mind, breath, body, and brain.

Kim shares more about her yoga journey that led her to the work she does today, why knowing the origins of our yoga lineages is so important, and how to go about learning about our yoga lineages. She also shares her insights around the fear of discussing this topic and why it’s important to keep having these conversations.

Key Takeaways:

[2:41] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Kim Weeks

[6:06] Shannon shares a little about the yoga lineage she did her first yoga teacher training course in and some of her feelings around it.

[10:30] What does Kim do and who does she do it for?

[12:28] Was it scary for Kim to start her work around yoga lineages? She explains how she got started doing this work.

[20:37] Kim shares another reason why she wasn’t afraid to start sharing about yoga lineages.

“There’s a lot of aspects of modern yoga that aren’t sustainable over time because there’s some super harmful things that have gotten kind of absorbed down through the patriarchy.” ~ Kim Weeks

[22:41] Understanding yoga lineage is key to embracing the practice as a discipline sustainably over time.

[24:03] Kim shares some of her insights about the power dynamic in yoga contributing to fear around this topic.

[32:13] Shannon pops in with a shout out to Crunch’s new offering.

[37:10] Why is Kim so passionate about people knowing their yoga lineage? Why does it matter if it’s all yoga?

“Lineage matters because it’s like a map.” ~ Kim Weeks

[46:38] How can yoga teachers find out about their yoga lineage?

[50:28] It can be uncomfortable when you start researching and discover the abuses of power that may have existed in your lineage of yoga. How can yoga teachers approach these conversations?

“[What] you might be also getting at when you ask about the fear, …is the power dynamics and the abuses that have flowed through so many of these lineages.” ~ Kim Weeks

[60:04] Learn more about the yoga lineages from the series that Kim did for Yoga Alliance (paywalled), as well as from Kim’s website and podcast.

[72:11] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Kim.


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