Water is a site of profound beauty and suffering; a site in need of empathy. In this guided meditation, Roopa draws upon the metta, or loving-kindness tradition. Participants will be invited to pour an inhale into the body, like a vessel filling with pure, clean water. In the exhale, the body empties its vessel, and so on. We will notice empathy, send empathy within, and send empathy out, to water. The title, “Breathe Like Water,” draws on Bruce Lee’s classic instruction, “Be like water.” In making this connection, Roopa intentionally grounds the meditation - and yoga and contemplation practices in general - in the martial arts.
Roopa Bala Singh, PhD, JD is a founding legal scholar of Critical Yoga Studies. She is a fourth- generation attorney from the region of Kushinagar, India where the Buddha taught and died. Roopa is an Assistant Professor of Law and Civic Engagement at CSU Monterey Bay; teaching law, race, and gender. As a legal journalist intern in the U.S. Supreme Court, Roopa was asked to remove her hijab in the U.S. Supreme Court by Chief Justice Rehnquist (2002). This xenophobic act continues to shape Roopa’s commitment to race and the law. Roopa’s nationwide panel project (SAAPYA: South Asian American Perspectives on Yoga, 2013-2016) was the first public discourse site on race and cultural appropriation in yoga. Commitments to anti-racist liberation, prison law, and motherhood have been a central part of Roopa’s career in social justice. Roopa has a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, a Masters in Cinema Studies from NYU, and a Ph.D. in Justice and Social Inquiry from ASU. Roopa is writing her first book, How Yoga Became Race.