Yoga and cultural appropriation in the West deserves attention and consideration from anyone and everyone who practices yoga in one form or another. Yoga has taken on a market of its own in the West, making companies billions of dollars every year in the USA alone, and has been one of the fastest growing in the fitness industry. Yet yoga in the West often looks nothing like the yoga that had been grown and cultivated for thousands of years in India. And yoga can evolve here and still be beneficial, as it has evolved in the East as well over thousands of years. Yet, at what point do we need to stop and realize that Yoga stems from a deeply rooted spiritual and cultural history, and is not just some current popular fitness trend?
That's where honor needs to come in. Yoga is such a beautiful practice that can help people all over the world and so easily transcend into all sorts of religious practices and cultures. Yoga is universal in so many ways, in its principals, in its benefits. So let's make sure we are honoring its roots, and not establishing it as our own. Honoring its roots and where it came from, learning about its history, understanding the colonization of yoga. This work is truly meaningful.
Let's also look further than the asana. Learning about the 8 limbs of yoga, not just the postures. How did the asana evolve? How can we learn about meditation, concentration, breathing, and morals to further our education, self awareness and practice. Yoga has so much to offer, and we should acknowledge that. And the knowledge is endless. All yogis are constantly a student of practice. No one has mastered everything. And no one should act as though they truly have.
If this topic is interesting to you, I highly recommend exploring the interviews led by Susanna Barkataki on this subject, which can be watched here: https://honordontappropriateyoga.com/ She covers diversity in yoga and cultural appropriation in such wonderful depth through these interviews.
yoga, food, family, and travel. these are what drive my life! as a stay at home mom of 2 little girls with an active yoga practice. i longed to find the perfect yoga class for my own children. i felt a calling to a kids yoga teacher training in early November, 2017 and answered the call. in 2018, i felt called towards a greater mission. teaching teens & adults. today, i am living my dream.