Why do real headlines sound like satire? Yoga, perhaps the most peaceful form of physical activity known to date, has recently come under fire for cultural appropriation. A yoga instructor named Jennifer Scharf was shocked to learn that her free weekly yoga class was canceled at the University of Ottawa in Canada, because it was a non-Western practice.
From Business Insider:
According to the Ottawa Sun, staff from the Centre for Students with Disabilities, where the classes were held for students of all abilities, wrote in an email: “While yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students…there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice. Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced”, and which cultures those practices “are being taken from”.
The email went on to say that because many of those cultures “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.”
Ms Scarf said she suggested a compromise by changing the name of the classes to suggest “mindful stretching”, but was rejected. “I think it’s easy to worry too much about accommodating everyone,” she said. “By saving one person’s feelings, we’re ruined the experience for so many others.”
So are you not allowed to do something unless people of your background invented it? Is salsa dancing to be deemed offensive? Are margaritas off limits? And what, pray tell, are white girls supposed to eat with their girlfriends if sushi is outlawed?
Is it really impossible to believe that a person was exposed to something in adulthood that they didn’t grow up with, and just liked it a lot? Enough to partake? Why does appreciation have to mean appropriation?
Whatever. More sweater vests for me..
[via Business Insider]