Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who Owns Yoga?

This article asks the question "who owns yoga?" in light of a small but apparently growing group in the US called Take Back Yoga who claim we've lost touch with what they believe to be the true roots of yoga: Hinduism.

"In a way," said Dr Aseem Shukla, the foundation's co-founder, "our issue is that yoga has thrived, but Hinduism has lost control of the brand." 

Another recent article regarding the identity of yoga from Clutch asks why black communities in the US have not taken up the practice as readily as white communities. It makes me sad to hear stories about students showing up to class, seeing a teacher of color, and then leaving, but I suppose it shouldn't be surprising. Race, class and gender are inescapable forces, even in yoga class. 

It's true that yoga has become, in some parts of the world, a past time for privileged people. It's expensive, it's trendy and it's filled with well meaning white people. How do we change that?

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