You really couldn’t make this up. Move over, blackface and feather headdresses; yoga has joined the list of terrible things done by insensitive/bigoted/greedy Westerners as they continue to vacuum up the cultural riches of everybody else. For seven years, a nice young Ottawa woman named Jennifer Scharf has been donating her time and expertise to giving free yoga classes at the University of Ottawa, at the express request of the Student Federation, and with particular outreach to disabled students. Now she must stop, because the same Federation has decided that practicing yoga (while white, presumably) constitutes cultural appropriation from peoples brutalized by colonial oppression. Apparently the cultures from which yoga has been ripped off…
…have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy … we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga.
There is it, people. Yoga is a racist act.
This is particularly entertaining because yoga and its embedding ideology were not so much ripped off by the West, as sold to the West by a long series of swamis and gurus and their humble Western acolytes, with great enthusiasm and to enormous profit.
For myself, I find yoga about as attractive as, say, picnicking in the Death Zone of Mount Everest, but this bit of SJW-inspired campus nonsense strikes me anyway as pretty hilarious or else pretty sad. I hardly know whether to laugh or cry.
Oh wait, I do know.
ETA: One day, yoga; another day, sushi and tacos. Jerry Coyne’s sane thoughts on the “cultural appropriation” of ethnic cuisine.