Cultural Appropriation and Westernized Yoga: Why I Thought Twice About Becoming a Yoga Instructor. Updated on July 23, 2020. Julia Regier. more. Julia is a yoga enthusiast and college student with a particular interest in applying sociological theory to everyday experience. Contact Author.
Yoga appropriation. Yoga and the Roots of Cultural Appropriation, Shreena Gandhi. I first questioned my yoga practice in 2018 when I saw the headline “Americans who practice yoga contribute to white supremacy.” I read and reread this backlash article multiple times questioning the purpose of this news. Yoga in India today is a little different from both modern American practices and its own cultural origins. There’s still a lot of debate in India over how yoga should be taught and practiced. But regardless of the debate, yoga in India is far from a fashion statement or gym alternative. You may be wondering why is a “Christian yoga” teacher talking about appropriation? It’s true, on the surface it may seem like this is textbook cultural appropriation white-washing yoga’s history. The difference is intentionally recognizing what we are adapting and honoring its origins.
In recent years, conversation has begun around the “cultural appropriation” of yoga. Cultural appropriation is the taking, marketing, and exotification of cultural practices from historically oppressed populations. The problem is incredibly complex and involves two extremes: The first is the sterilization of yoga by removing evidence of its. Cultural appropriation in yoga happens on many levels, from the messaging we receive from many major brands and media to the Sanskrit mantras printed on T-shirts. Yoga, like so many other colonized systems of practice and knowledge, did not appear in the American spiritual landscape by coincidence; rather, its popularity was a direct consequence of a larger system of cultural appropriation that capitalism engenders and reifies.
More yoga teachers and studio owners need to create space for conversations about cultural appropriation and cultural accountability. Hate to say it, but studio owners are definitely a part of the problem when the roll of available teachers lacks diversity in gender, body shape, race and ethnicity. 1 Be aware of yoga’s history — and the danger of cultural appropriation. “More yoga teachers and studio owners need to create space for conversations about cultural appropriation and. Yoga is Dead is a revolutionary podcast that explores power, privilege, fair pay, harassment, race, cultural appropriation and capitalism in the yoga and wellness worlds. Join Indian-American hosts Tejal + Jesal as they exposes all the monsters lurking under the yoga mat.
It’s curious to see so many people arguing about whether the Western practice of yoga is cultural appropriation or not, when most of the authors writing pieces about the topic do not belong to the cultural, spiritual, or religious tradition that is responsible for yoga.. While I don’t think all yoga is cultural appropriation — it really depends on the setting and intention of its. Yoga and cultural appropriation. One perspective is that an ancient practice from a developing country has been gutted through cultural appropriation—the process of taking something traditional from a marginalized group and turning it into something that profits the dominant group. Why the Appropriation of Yoga Matters. If these signs of cultural appropriation are familiar to your yoga practice, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. We’re all taught to follow the systems of oppression that dominate our society, and every one of us has to go through a learning process to decolonize our thoughts and behaviors.
I am the author of Honoring Yoga’s Roots: Unpack Appropriation and Evolve Your Practice available for pre-sale now. I run a Honor Yoga’s Roots online course that offers training so yoga teachers, studios, classes, and programs are well prepared to be inclusive, accessible and welcoming while honoring the roots of yoga. But I also discovered yoga appropriation and that discovery made me uncomfortable. If this is the first time you are hearing the word appropriation, it means "the action of taking something for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission". In the case of yoga we (as in white people) took the poses of yoga and westernized it. Ignoring the roots, history, and philosophies of the practice in favour of using it as “just exercise” is a form of erasure, and potentially an act of cultural appropriation. Yoga classes are often expensive and demographically match the majority of yoga product marketing – that is, thin, cisgender, able-bodied, middle-class white women.
Is yoga cultural appropriation? Indians are pushed out of a culture that actually belongs to them. I have read about Indians / South Asians feeling like they don’t belong in yoga classes, that they don’t fit in, like the practice of yoga has been so far removed from Hinduism that it’s become alien to them. Yoga is a Hindu practice and.
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