Recently I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on cultural appropriation and yoga. I’m planning to write a piece about what inspired this research, which I will post here soon. I’m also in the process of putting the finishing touches on a video that addresses this topic. Below I’ve listed some resources I’ve found that shine a light on this topic, most of which are written by people of Indian descent.
People of colour and particularly people of Indian descent have been offering critiques of “western yoga” for a long time. I’ve realized that if I want to build a truly inclusive community around my yoga practice I need to delve more deeply into this topic. At the same time, I want to avoid positioning myself as an authoritative voice on this topic. The best I can do is connect people with the powerful voices who have already articulated these critiques and work to acknowledge my own complicity and privilege in the ongoing processes of colonization, commodification and imperialism. I put this resource list together as one small act of resistance to these processes. If you have other suggestions to enrich and build the list, please send them my way.
Andrea Smith’s book Conquest has a powerful chapter on the links between gendered violence and cultural appropriation.
and if you’re interested you can also read my first piece on this topic:
Whose Practice? Yoga and Cultural Appropriation