Black person in yoga

Quantum Windbag

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What the fuck is wrong with people?

I thought about how that must feel: to be a heavyset black woman entering for the first time a system that by all accounts seems unable to accommodate her body. What could I do to help her? If I were her, I thought, I would want as little attention to be drawn to my despair as possible—I would not want anyone to look at me or notice me. And so I tried to very deliberately avoid looking in her direction each time I was in downward dog, but I could feel her hostility just the same. Trying to ignore it only made it worse. I thought about what the instructor could or should have done to help her. Would a simple “Are you okay?” whisper have helped, or would it embarrass her? Should I tell her after class how awful I was at yoga for the first few months of my practicing and encourage her to stick with it, or would that come off as massively condescending? If I asked her to articulate her experience to me so I could just listen, would she be at all interested in telling me about it? Perhaps more importantly, what could the system do to make itself more accessible to a broader range of bodies? Is having more racially diverse instructors enough, or would it require a serious restructuring of studio’s ethos?

I got home from that class and promptly broke down crying. Yoga, a beloved safe space that has helped me through many dark moments in over six years of practice, suddenly felt deeply suspect. Knowing fully well that one hour of perhaps self-importantly believing myself to be the deserving target of a racially charged anger is nothing, is largely my own psychological projection, is a drop in the bucket, is the tip of the iceberg in American race relations, I was shaken by it all the same.

The question is, of course, so much bigger than yoga—it’s a question of enormous systemic failure. But just the same, I want to know—how can we practice yoga in good conscience, when mere mindfulness is not enough? How do we create a space that is accessible not just to everybody, but to every body? And while I recognize that there is an element of spectatorship to my experience in this instance, it is precisely this feeling of not being able to engage, not knowing how to engage, that mitigates the hope for change.
It Happened To Me: There Are No Black People In My Yoga Classes And I'm Suddenly Feeling Uncomfortable With It | xoJane

Sorry, bitch, the fact that you practice a religious form of exercise that doesn't attract large numbers of poor people, whatever their color, does not make everyone else racist. The fact that you saw a heavyset woman who was uncomfortable in an advanced exercise class, and all you can thing about is her skin color, makes you one.
 

HenryBHough

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If America can dumb down classrooms to preserve "self esteem" then why cannot yoga classes back off from effective exercises in order to similarly preserve "self esteem"?

In liberal-speak, two WRONGS do make a right.

If nobody is allowed to learn then nobody should be allowed to gain through exercise.
 

R.D.

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The enlightened yoga diz bang has GOT to be a liberal
 

Pennywise

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People who fall all over themselves in despair over the plight of coloreds, are racists.
 

Asclepias

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Tortured soul. She sounds consumed with white guilt and also very prejudiced. I wonder where she is at? My cousin is a Yoga instructor.
 

Two Thumbs

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Wonder if she gave a shit about the fat white chick that tried to do yoga?
or yellow
or brown
or red

Or how about the one middle aged guy that was actually struggling so hard he barely noticed how hot the women looked?

fuck her, she's a victim of the mind control
 

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