Episode 83

58 mins

Jordan Ashley - Yoga, Connection and Girls Education

June 14, 2020

Jordan Ashley is a yoga teacher and the founder of Souljourn Yoga. Souljourn Yoga Foundation is a non-profit that raises awareness and funds for girls education in lesser economically developed countries by teaming up with both local and international non-profits. They have hosted retreats in Rwanda, Morocco, Peru and more. Souljourn co-designs retreats with their partner organizations on the ground by weaving in local practices of tradition, meditation, and movement so that it's a culturally contextual experience of equality, not hierarchy.

In this episode, we hear about Jordan's childhood growing up in Southern California and how she discovered yoga with her mother. We also hear about her career in journalism and how that informs her worldview today. We learn about the goals and philosophy of Souljourn Yoga and get some insights into running global retreats and working closely with local communities. Finally, we discuss how COVID-19 has affected her life and the Souljourn Yoga project.


Souljourn Yoga: http://www.souljournyoga.com/
Jordan's TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLXAxOnJs2A

This episode is sponsored by Yoga Australia:

The opinions expressed in this podcast do not reflect the view and opinions of the sponsor.


Click on a timecode to play from that time in the recording.

2:26 Jordan’s background growing up in Southern California
3:48 How did Jordan find a passion for journalism?
4:47 How has journalism changed Jordan’s outlook?
6:11 Jordan talks about Souljourn yoga
8:19 Yoga culture bubble vs authentic connection
10:12 Passive donor vs active participant
12:39 How does Jordan choose the communities that are involved?
13:51 How does Jordan handle the logistics of the Souljourn organisation?
15:24 How does Jordan find the retreat participants?
16:08 How did Jordan end up in London?
17:00 How has COVID-19 affected her work?
18:14 How has this affected Jordan’s income?
19:15 How has this affected the communities that Jordan works with?
20:55 How does the idea that everyone’s suffering is unique play out within the situation of COVID-19
22:24 Working on yourself vs taking action out in the world.
24:25 How do we truly connect without meeting in person?
25:50 What is Jordan doing for her own self-care?
28:09 The power of craft.
29:15 How does Jordan keep her project scope realistic and sustainable?
30:44 How and why did Jordan choose to focus on girl’s education?
31:55 Support us on Patreon!
33:13 Is there ever a dilemma over not working with boys?
36:56 Does Jordan have any advice for someone wanting to make a difference in the world?
39:20 Acknowledging privilege, avoiding being a “white saviour” and seeking local community mentorship.
40:30 Community consultation vs having an agenda
42:53 Including play along with education.
44:40 Is there much opportunity for cultural sharing from the participants?
46:20 Will COVID-19 lead to more unity?
48:15 Is this new anxiety we are feeling just new to us in the west?
50:46 The practice of yoga, noticing our responses and acting skillfully.
53:36 Maintaining community connection while social distancing
54:57 Anything else Jordan would like to share?
55:35 What is the core essence of what Jordan would like to share with the world?
57:03 Our next episode: Cora Geroux

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