Story Archive

Down Dog Down

“We’re not going through the finer points of scripture. We’re talking about basic physical awareness and how to stretch so that you feel good,” says Jen Scharf, who’d been teaching yoga for disabled students at the University of Ottawa. But the university’s student federation, which had sponsored Scharf’s course, canceled it because yoga comes from Indian culture, which “experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy,” and because the “cultural issues” made some people “uncomfortable.” The Indian government and some activists have been trying to reclaim yoga, with one group calling “the mass commercialization of this ancient practice, rooted in Hindu thought ... concerning.” But Dilip Waghray, who has half a century of yoga behind him, says he looks on the bright side: “If you look at what the Western world has adapted it is just phenomenal ... They’ll live a long and very happy life.” (AC/CBC, Washington Post) ...Learning from non-Western cultures is now “Western supremacy”?
Original Publication Date: 29 November 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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