Time to talk about white yoga privilege and systemic inequities

White yoga has a lot of work to do acknowledging appropriation and authoritarianism BEFORE trying to extend an olive branch to communities of color, especially in the temperature of today.

Greetings friends and Just Beings,

I recently published an article on Medium:
“Start with yourself: Deconstructing, Decolonizing and Un-gentrifying Yoga.”

This was born of ideas that have been brewing for a long time but became imperative to share as more industries, including the majority white yoga culture, began to hashtag themselves into solidarity with the current civil unrest and protest against racial injustice.
I say “majority white yoga culture” because the yoga industry is a predominantly white industry. It’s a white female industry.

It felt necessary to make it clear that as we all try to lead with our hearts and be of service and allyship, that we address the underlying issues.

This state of systemic oppression and inequality is a big tangled knot of threads. It has been wound and tightened over centuries. We don’t get to just make new thread.

If we really want to invite healing and unity, we each have to do our individual work and our collective work.

White yoga has a lot of work to do acknowledging appropriation and authoritarianism BEFORE trying to extend an olive branch to communities of color, especially in the temperature of today.

Offering a child’s pose and a white interpretation of peace and “namaste” isn’t going to resonate with communities of color, especially if you never cared to share yoga before.

The industry must look at how it is a part of the problem in the disparity of access to practice and how it got that way; that’s white privilege and supremacy.
I say all of this with love and kindness, but with sattva (balance). It might feel harsh but it is also truth.

I love every one of you and all of the support you have shown Just B Yoga and myself personally over the years. I know I will lose supporters over my position. And I’m OK with that. I do hope you give me a chance to talk and connect as we always have before you depart my company.

I am excited at the potential for transformation and evolution of yoga as a healing modality and practice, available to all, without the white-washing.
The light and love in me is honored and grateful for the light and love in you.
Amen. Ase. Namaste,
Belinda

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