Americans who practice yoga contribute to white supremacy, Michigan State University professor claims


White individuals who do a downward-facing canine are contributing to a “machine of energy, privilege, and oppression,” in step with a Michigan State College professor.

Shreena Gandhi, a spiritual research professor at Michigan State, claims in an article she just lately co-authored that American citizens who apply yoga are contributing to white supremacy and advertise the “yoga business advanced.”

White American citizens will have to be told yoga’s historical past, recognize the cultural appropriation they have interaction in and most likely scale back the price of yoga categories for deficient folks, a gaggle that regularly contains folks of colour and “contemporary immigrants, equivalent to Indian girls to whom this tradition rightfully belongs,” Gandhi argued.


She co-authored the piece titled “Yoga and the Roots of Cultural Appropriation,” with Lillie Wolff, a self-described “anti-racist white Jewish organizer, facilitator, and healer,” who has referred to as for “decolonizing” yoga, the School Repair reported.

The 2 argued “the explosion of yoga studios, yoga video, apps, yoga pants, and different yoga swag during the last 20 years is proof” of the “(mis)appropriation of yoga” that “is a part of systemic racism” constructed on “the hard work of black folks and folks of the worldwide south.”

“We’d argue one of the most objectives of white supremacy is to buffer white folks from the ache that comes from the method of exchanging cultural grounding for the unearned energy and privilege of whiteness,” they wrote. “…this modern day pattern of cultural appropriation of yoga is a continuation of white supremacy and colonialism, keeping up the development of white folks eating the stuff of tradition this is handy and conveyable, whilst ignoring the well-being and liberation of Indian folks.”


Gandhi and the Spiritual Research Division at MSU didn’t reply to Fox Information’ request for remark.

Gandhi stated few white folks “make the relationship between their enchantment to yoga and the cultural loss their ancestors and kin skilled after they purchased into white dominant tradition with the intention to get right of entry to assets,” Gandhi wrote.

However white individuals who twist their our bodies in several yoga positions can do something positive about it, in step with Gandhi.

“Given a deeper research of yoga, white yoga practitioners and lecturers can have interaction in yoga in a decolonizing approach that reduces hurt and seeks better cultural responsibility,” she wrote.

“Particularly all over this time when the underbelly of capitalism — white supremacy, cisheteropatriarchy, and xenophobia – is being uncovered, it’s crucial that everybody, particularly those that have get right of entry to to religious practices like yoga, ask tough questions of ourselves and one any other,” the 2 concluded. “We will have to ask, in what techniques are we complicit in a machine that harms folks of colour, queer and trans folks, deficient folks, folks with disabilities, and immigrants?”

Caleb Parke is an affiliate editor for You’ll observe him on Twitter @calebparke