I was following the entire controversy for the past 5 days ... and I checked elsewhere on SparkPeople for this topic, and came up: crickets ... zengangstastyle.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/i
A yogini who calls herself TheZenG, writes:
"I am always the only Black woman in my yoga classes. Is this because Black women don’t practice yoga? No. Is this because Black women struggle with yoga? No. Is this because heavy Black women are not comfortable with their bodies in the presence of “skinny white bodies”? No. Let me offer another perspective, Ms. “Jen Caron”. After reading this essay, I reflected on the number of times I have gone into a studio and other students coincidentally avoid placing their yoga mats next to mine. I thought about times when the instructor does not acknowledge my presence, nod or say “hello,” or even make eye contact with me. I remembered all the times that I have wanted to stay in child’s pose because this is my practice and that is what my body needed in that moment. And, if in that moment we had been in the same yoga class, would I too have been a threat to you?
"So, why do I continue to go to yoga classes, 'shamelessly co-opted by Western culture as a sport for skinny, rich white women' as Ms. Caron writes, where I am the “only one” (which is not unlike other experiences in my everyday life)? Why do so many women of color continue to practice yoga despite narratives like the one Ms. Caron confesses? Because, as Sweet Brown would say, ain’t nobody got time for that. Ain’t nobody got time to worry about your prejudice, your guilt, or your fear when it comes to taking care of her own body and health. When I practice yoga, I carve out my own space and focus on my flow. Ain’t nobody thinking about you. And, health and wellness do not belong to you."
So here goes:
I'm white, but I've been marginalized by my size at the time (only size 12 [and at then-GOAL weight - aka "happy weight"]! But in New York City outer borough wannabe studios) and age ( mid 50's--My, has yoga been highjacked by the young in so many places!*), from many yoga classes (but only when taught in a yoga studio - other venues seem more lenient) ...
*I'd been introduced to yoga back in 1971 - kids' yoga? NO! Yin Yoga!!!!
While technically of the Caucasian race, South Asian Indians (mixed with Dravidian blood) founded yoga. Yes, technically Indians from South Asia are Caucasian. But they present (in this culture) as one of the brown peoples (along with the mestizos) ...
So ... one race - literally does not "own" yoga ...
Well, as I see it, home practice rules, anyway ...
Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.
- Igor Stravinsky
Find a way.
(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)
Team Co-Leader of:
◈ Don't Want 2 be fat or skinny team www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
Now 109 pounds less than at age 24–w/o surgery!