|one interpretation of Kali|
Given all the recent uproar about yoga advertising, I want to ask this question again:
why is American yoga such a white thing?
This post is from 2007 and three years later I am still asking the same question.
I am white (but have been told “you’re not all that white”), so why does this question bother me so much? Maybe because I grew up on the south side of Chicago? Maybe because I lived with Tejanos on the Texas/Mexico border? Maybe because my ex-husband is Mexican?
Don’t know. But the way yoga is advertised bothers me, maybe because it seems so exclusive — despite all the peace-love-dove New Age rhetoric — when it should be inclusive of older, rounder, darker.
The ads in Yoga Journal for Kripalu are the only ones that are realistic because they have all colors, all shapes, and all ages.
You bet I am tired of the skinny, young, white women in yoga advertising AS IF that is the only type who does yoga in America. Brooks Hall is on fire with her post about….another ad using a skinny, young, white woman. How original Corporate America.
“slimmer calmer healthier” — notice which word is first in the ad.
As someone who taught yoga in a community college to young women with eating disorders, these people just DON’T GET IT.
“The ways of materialistic culture as seen in this advertisement seem to be trying to cleanse yoga of its Indian-ness, as if the strangeness of it is a form of pollution.”
Yeah, let’s just make everything white bread because that’s what we are really comfortable with since yoga is a white thang anyway. Scroll down to read the Minority Yoga Report: http://www.yogacitynyc.com/yoga_week.php#259
I could go on, but what’s the point?
I teach to Hispanic women at a domestic violence shelter and they connect to yoga and meditation more so than many people I’ve taught at yoga studios. I can count on one hand the number of people of color I have taught in 9 years of teaching.
With the latest discussion about Yoga Journal, the mass-marketing of yoga, all the blah blah about how wonderful it is that yoga is reaching the masses, that more and more people are exposed to yoga, how yoga is so “mainstream” (and I do not believe it is)….where is the increase of people of color taking yoga classes?
Or have our white sensibilities forgotten them in all the rhetoric about how absolutely fabulous it is that so many more white people are taking yoga now?