EYI 2013: Permissive Language

Posted on May 7th, 2013

As I lay in bed reflecting back on my first full day at the Off the Mat, Into the World Empowered Youth Initiative training, where the day was spent discussing the importance of language, I’m left feeling speechless. Not wanting to say the wrong words. Evoke negative emotions in others. Do harm. It’s easy to become overwhelmed the more you learn.

Yesterday I probably would have said that fear is an emotion that does not cultivate change. Today I learned from Angel Kyodo Williams that change doesn’t always mean moving forward, there’s also the possibility of regression. I invite you to think of a moment in which you let fear control and hinder you so much that it stifled your growth and possibly your dream. We’ve all had a moment of not feeling worthy of our dreams. That gut-wrenching pit of your belly pain hurts. That pain manifests itself in our body and if you want to heal that trauma you have to move.

Asana serves as a beautiful tool to get those negative thoughts, feelings, emotions, and trauma moved out of your body and mind. In my asana practice I consciously watch my inner dialogue. Do you pump yourself up or tear yourself down? Be your number one fan. Give yourself permission to be liberated and freed from your pain.


MacKenzie Miller of Seattle, WA, is an Off the Mat leader participating in the Empowered Youth Initiative (EYI). EYI gives leaders unparalleled access to groups and institutions who work with at-risk youth, so that leaders can better understand the personal, cultural, socio-economic and political challenges these youth face, and incorporate this deeper knowledge and training into their own work serving youth.

Help Off the Mat to continue and expand our programs like the Empowered Youth Initiative. Join the Seed Network and donate the price of one yoga class per month to Off the Mat, Into the world. When you join the Seed Network, you invest in a community of leaders, like Mackenzie Miller, who are initiating grassroots social change from the inside out.