Is Yoga Oppressive?

By February 9, 2018February 10th, 2018Politics, Pop Culture

If you think race-baiting lunacy is contained to the corridors of Washington, think again. False accusations of white supremacy are expanding beyond politics and into our everyday lives. One such abhorrent example is in an article posted on the website of Kalamazoo College’s Praxis Center. It accuses white people who practice yoga of contributing to “a system of power, privilege, and oppression.”

Who knew gentle stretching to calming music is racist?

If you happen to be white, it is, according to social justice warriors Shreena Gandhi, who is a religious studies professor at Michigan State, and her co-author, Lillie Wolff, a self-described “antiracist white Jewish organizer, facilitator, and healer” who wants to “decolonize” yoga. You read that right. One of the authors is a white woman who, according to her bio, has been doing yoga since 2003. She is now telling millions of white women who also practice yoga that they’re contributing to white supremacy.

Welcome to The Twilight Zone.

In their unhinged piece, titled “Yoga and the Roots of Cultural Appropriation,” they argue, “The explosion of yoga studios, yoga videos, apps, yoga pants, and other yoga swag over the last two decades is evidence of this. Yoga contributes to our economic system, but never forget this system is one built upon exploitation and commodification of labor, often the labor of black people and people of the global south. …

“We would argue one of the goals of White Supremacy is to buffer white people from the pain that comes from the process of exchanging cultural grounding for the unearned power and privilege of whiteness.”

Did it ever occur to loony liberals who espouse such nutty nonsense that one’s physical attributes — e.g., skin color — don’t determine racism? To the contrary, it’s one’s character that does.

In fact, it was Martin Luther King Jr. who said it best, at the Lincoln Memorial during his landmark 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. King — a real civil rights activist — told the world, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

If King, rightfully, did not want humans to be judged by the color of their skin, why are white people who practice yoga being targeted for theirs?

Perhaps the geniuses at Michigan State who hired Shreena Gandhi can explain.

Notwithstanding, leave it to faux social justice warriors to turn yoga, a healthy form of exercise practiced by millions globally to achieve wellness, into a divisive wedge issue.

Here’s the deal. Before you abandon your yoga mat, consider the facts. As a yoga practitioner who has taken thousands of classes throughout the United States over the past two decades, I can testify that a yoga studio is the last place on earth one will find racism or discrimination of any kind. The yoga community is welcoming to all, no matter one’s creed, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

It’s simple: If you’re human, you’re welcome in any yoga studio in America — if not the world at large.

All the more reason U.S. colleges and universities should spend less time indoctrinating students with cuckoo cultural interpretations and more time vetting whom they hire to educate our youth.

Until then, grab your mat and enjoy your practice. Learning to relax the body and quiet the mind amid the toxic noise in the world today is an hour well spent.

Adriana Cohen

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist and tv commenator. Adriana’s weekly column appears in newspapers and media outlets nationwide including Fox News, the New York Post, and many others via the Creators Syndicate. To learn more, visit the About page.