Headshot of Dianne

She Talks Profile: Dianne Bondy

Dianne Bondy – is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.

1. What does the word tenacity mean to you OR what does the word grit mean to you?
I don’t think grit is a unique characteristic or skill. Grit eludes to this idea of toughness and hardness. I think we are all born with grit. Grit is the survival instinct. The connection to our most basic and primal selves; our grit is fuelled by the need to survive. I think we need the softer side of grit to relate to each other and to be successful. The characteristics I find most illuminating and successful are generosity, respect, integrity and truth. We need the ability to be able to listen, empathize to connect, relate and communicate more efficiently.

2. Name the biggest overall lesson you’ve learned about leadership.
Listen more then you speak and always have a diverse team of people around you who are passionate and focused.

3. Why do you think women supporting women is important/what does it mean to you?
Women are smart and powerful. It is necessary to stand in that power together to shift this idea that our culture teaches women that we are not enough. We can relate to each other through our lived experiences. The women’s movement taught us how when we combine our power through lived experiences we as women can do anything. Women are naturally more collaborative, and we get stuff done.

4. What’s your personal or professional motto?
Stand in your power and take up space!

5. What’s your go-to when you need inspiration or motivation?
When I need to motivate, I think of my ancestry. The powerful people who stood up and even died so that I may be free and have a chance at equality. My source of strength and inspiration:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

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