January 26, 2020
Yoga is high on the agenda in terms of what it means to live well these days. Once an underground pastime held in church halls and community centres, yoga studios are now jostling for space on high streets, roof-tops and at festivals across the world.  
Why Im No Longer Talking To White People About Yoga
Yoga might save your mind, body and spirit, but not until it’s taken all your money. It’s become exclusive, elitist and, at anywhere up to £20 a class, expensive. But this modern yoga isn’t quite what it was meant to be when the practice first emerged in ancient India around 5,000 years ago. The old yoga was intended to be a method for self-inquiry and meditation. Yet, the new practice we have today appears to have become a trendy, self-serving, fitness-focussed activity. 
On social media, yoga is presented as a panacea to all ills, but this hasn’t been the case for me over the decades since I first stepped on a mat in a creaky east London gym in 1996. None of my teenage peers had heard of it back then – it was regarded as a strange thing to do.   Related... Does Britain Still Have An Issue With Interracial Relationships? Couples Speak Up I’d Love To Celebrate Christmas With My Family But I Had To Cut My Dad Out I Dumped My Boyfriend For Being Fatphobic, Even Though I'm Thin Since then, I’ve witnessed how a relatively unpopular (in the West) practice, has transformed into a multimillion-dollar, wellness espousing industry, that’s led yoga astray. You know a culture is in trouble when it has become dominated by (white) people who have boiled it down to a handful of clichés, obscuring most of what it is meant to be about.
Yoga these days has trappings: plant-based diets, strappy crop-tops, and yoga-as-soft-porn via bikini bodies doing handstands on beaches. It’s intensely painful for me to see yoga – a practice that is deeply personal for me (and many others) – distorted, decontextualised and, in this case, sexualised.  
There’s a lot of cultural appropriation involved in yoga too. Highlights include: tattoos of Hindu gods and the Om symbol, poorly pronounced Sanskrit chants and puns on the word Namaste.It’s not uncommon to see it slaughtered by activewear brands, as in “Namastay in bed all day”. Namaste roughly means “I bow to you” and is a Hindu greeting. It’s a lovely sentiment and you’ll hear it on the lips of a yoga teacher near you, but it’s not directly related to yoga.
I wrote about its misuse on Instagram and several teachers got in touch to say they don’t say it anymore. One asked: “Do we know how it leaked into yoga?” My guess is that some westerners went to India, found yoga, returned home to share it and threw Namaste in for “exotic” measure. Years later, it’s ended up on T-shirts and in yoga classes.
I’m not against innovation, but there’s a trend for yoga being remixed with other fitness activities such as boxing, dance and HIIT to the extent that it seems any movement-based class is not exempt from being labelled as yoga. It’s also often blended with other cultural practices like cacao ceremonies, reiki, and gong baths, which pleasing as they may be, all stem from other cultures.
Yoga also has a serious diversity problem in terms of both teachers and practitioners, with classes tending to be predominantly white. There appear to be invisible barriers stopping certain people accessing yoga – specifically people of colour, people with disabilities, LGBT+ and those with bodies that don’t reflect the hetero-looking, bendy limbed, white, models generally presented on yoga marketing.
Teaching yoga has made me question whether I’m wrong to feel conflicted about what’s happened to to it. I can’t help feeling that what’s going on is in fact a perverse form of 21st Century colonialism. Here I am, a South Asian yoga teacher, feeling forced to distort a tradition that is a part of my own ancestral heritage. This paradox is exhausting to exist within. 
Yoga is a political issue and it needs a revolution. But it’s going to take more than wellness businesses adding BAME faces to their fliers and marketing. Offering several subsidised spots during peak-times, prioritising teaching opportunities for teachers of colour – South Asian ones in particular – and taking yoga to low-income and hard to reach communities (and paying teachers better so they can do this) might work too. 
And on the ground, yoga teachers themselves could open every class that they teach by telling their students what yoga is and where it comes from – and be respectful and sensitive about how they do. 
The priciness and whiteness of yoga suggests that wellness is a privilege, and it shouldn’t be. I strongly believe it’s the responsibility of everyone who works within yoga, and capitalises from it, to find ways to change that.
Nadia Gilani is a writer and yoga teacher. Related... The Best Apps To Help Kids Wind Down 8 Beginner-Friendly Fitness Challenges To Try This Year Burnout Is Bad For Your Heart. Here’s How To Prevent It See, Working Out On Your Period Can Be Bloody Brilliant
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Israel at War

Israel has entered its fourth week of war against Hamas after the group infiltrated the country on October 7.

Israel conducted its most intense ground operation in Gaza overnight, attacking about 150 underground targets, according to IDF.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Media
Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
READ MORE
Watch It
Timothée Chalamet Addresses Date Night With Kylie Jenner at Beyoncé’s Concert | E! News
December 20, 2023
B3z63vdSZ6Q
How Cher REALLY Feels About Kelly Clarkson’s Cover of Her Song | E! News
December 20, 2023
kf7fwJHnaxU
Ryan Gosling Drops NEW Holiday Version of ‘I’m Just Ken' | E! News
December 20, 2023
FsBATnrFv6w
The Top 10 TV Shows of All Time | Variety
December 20, 2023
mwZnVmsQNAs
Ava DuVernay & Michael Mann l Directors on Directors
December 19, 2023
qBRTngfdqZ8
Ari Aster & Yorgos Lanthimos l Directors on Directors
December 18, 2023
BXYD3UISwCs
2023's Top TMZ Sports Interviews: Shaq, Gronk, Tyson, Derulo & More! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/25/23
December 20, 2023
LuSEtAJ1Dms
Aaron Rodgers' Season Over and Lakers' Unique Banner Celebration! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/19/23
December 20, 2023
_SZM5laBY1I
#SelenaGomez is standing by her man, #BennyBlanco, amid backlash from fans over their relationship
December 20, 2023
3OAOi6VvLnQ
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
o9clvkwWVPI
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
inNYH5LILUM
When Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce would likely get engaged, according to NFL WAG Hannah Ann Sluss
December 20, 2023
kFWOyZlTJFc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
Latest Events
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Alaves
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Rayo Vallecano
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Newcastle United
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Coventry
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - West Bromwich Albion
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Ipswich Town
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Hull City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Southampton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leicester City - Huddersfield
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Millwall
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Plymouth - Watford
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leeds - Birmingham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sunderland - Preston NE
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Bournemouth
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Arsenal
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Roma
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Manchester United
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Luton - Chelsea
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Sheffield United
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Sassuolo
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Everton
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Salernitana
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Burnley
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Lecce
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Bologna
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Empoli
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Monza
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Tottenham Hotspur
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Crystal Palace
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester City
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Aston Villa
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Liverpool
24
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Chelsea
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Arsenal
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Napoli
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Everton
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Manchester United
23
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Lecce
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Frosinone - Juventus
22
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Salernitana - AC Milan
21
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Real Madrid
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.