I’d like to highly recommend the following commentary from Bhakti Collective to all: Yoga Journal’s Abstract Impression of Bhakti. Although the author Kaushtuba das doesn’t frame it as such, in my mind it speaks to the kind of cultural appropriation that the Western “yoga scene” is unfortunately saturated with. I’m not in any way claiming to be innocent of any inappropriate appropriation myself (it’s hard to stay “pure” in this globalized world), but I do think that as mostly-Western-born-usually-white-almost-always-economically-privileged yoga students we do need to be aware of our responsibility in this arena. It can be extremely hard to discern between healthy cultural exchange and selfish cultural appropriation, but I believe that with self-education and reflection, we can at least make a start. What we seem to lack at the moment, however, (in the yoga world at least) is any method of accountability to those whose cultures we are learning/taking from.
Cultural appropriation and yoga. It’s a juicy topic, one that I have a hard time wrapping my head around sometimes. . . but it’s really a collective issue more than a personal one, so. . . any thoughts out there?
PS: Apologies to K-das if I may be taking his writing out of context! I simply found the topic a poignant starting point for a dialog I’m interested in having. Thx.