for indigenous eyes only: meditation, craft, yoga, and layers of colonization

we were talking abt yoga, meditation and a bunch of other practices that are supposed to ground you in their own specific ways, or rather the others talked abt how awful it is that all those old christian saami ladies wont have anything to do with that stuff bc it is of the devil, or for whatever other reason. i talked specifically abt why i dont find yoga, mindfulness or whatever the latest fad is appealing—bc its not my culture and it would feel just as fake and disrespectful as donning one of those tourist shaman drum necklaces as a symbol of some deeper spiritual connection, or actually even more so.

and then we got into what kind of practices we have of our own to soothe the mind and help one clear ones mind and soul. and how the tyeji, the crafts, often serve that purpose even tho the most obvious reason for doing it is to get something you need: clothes, accessories, housewares, etc.

anyway i have noticed that when i give my work the time and attention it requires, the workflow is easier compared to when i do it with my eyes on the finishing line so to say—its certainly healthier for me considering the burnout i suffered not too long ago, but when i do it with patience and concentration it becomes a kind of a service instead of a chore. and i know i am sewing the same seams that countless generations of women before me did, taking care to get the piping just right like they did, softening the hides with bark just like they did.

tyeji is connectedness. nothing else can give me that because there is nothing like it to be done outside of my own culture. and tbh i will respect the old ladies and their cast-iron beliefs that yoga is of the devil (not as a reflection on the practice & culture itself) because that belief is actually connected to their own culture. yoga is not.

i dont have much love for christianity in general but who am i to disparage the older generations for taking what was forced on them & going with that? for that matter, who is anybody else (esp a settler) to judge them for essentially refusing to accept yet another layer of colonization?

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