Do yoga? You’re a white supremacist then.

White people who do a downward-facing dog are contributing to a “system of power, privilege, and oppression,” according to a Michigan State University professor.

Shreena Gandhi, a religious studies professor at Michigan State, claims in an article she recently co-authored that Americans who practice yoga are contributing to white supremacy and promote the “yoga industrial complex.”

White Americans should learn yoga’s history, acknowledge the cultural appropriation they engage in and possibly reduce the cost of yoga classes for poor people, a group that often includes people of color and “recent immigrants, such as Indian women to whom this practice rightfully belongs,” Gandhi argued.

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13 Responses to Do yoga? You’re a white supremacist then.

  1. Unclezip says:

    “Rightfully belongs”. Blow us, bitch. Nobody “owns” an art form or and exercise regimen. Next they’ll tell us practicing Kung Fu is racist.

  2. Rick says:

    I think this has become a joke.
    Where people see who can come up with the most outlandish proclamation that the news will print.

  3. l2a3 says:

    Shreena Gandhi, That is what you do not understand about Americans. When we find something we enjoy we adapt it into our lives, unlike you. I think that you as an non white should not use electricity or clean water because, since you did not develop it, you are racist by using something whites appreciate and to make our lives better. By you using it shows how much of a racist you are by using something you did not develop but is used by others.

    That makes about as much sense you your racist beliefs and article.

  4. warhorse says:

    so is sitting and watching ladies do yoga white supremacist? or just creepy?

    asking for a friend…

  5. UH1H CE says:

    Note to Ms Ghandi: South Asians using toilets is cultural appropriation. That phone? Cultural appropriation. Electricity? Same thing. Cars? Airplanes? Trains? If we reset the cultural clock, you go back to finding a spot behind a tree and using your hand.

  6. fRed says:

    What an asshole…

  7. rolldog says:

    Motherfu**ers and their stupid cultural appropriation. I’m am so tired of all these made-up victimhood tools. Bullsh**. Better start recognizing those Europeans, Romans, etc. that gave us much of our culture and start sending some people back to their own damn country so they can fill up on “their” own culture. /Incoherent rant over.

  8. Pat says:

    this is the FIRST good reason I’ve heard to do yoga in my entire life.

  9. Mike_C says:

    First, Dr Gandhi is NOT an MSU Professor, she is some sort of visiting faculty. This is an academic (you’ll pardon the pun) distinction, but an important one. I don’t have a good analogy, but it’s sort of like an 03 Army captain deliberately letting people think he’s a Navy 06 captain. At least she doesn’t claim to be a professor (I blame the lazy and mendacious Press) in her biosketch (see below). This may be the nicest thing I can say about her.

    Second, she and her co-author Lillie Wolff (BA from Kalamazoo College, definitely NOT a professor) are full of shit if they think that “Yoga belongs to women”. They are either ignorant, deliberately lying, or possibly both. And what the FUCK? Since Mx. Wolff makes such a big deal about being Jewish, is yoga a fucking Jewish thing? How DARE Mx. Wolff appropriate a brown person thing?

    >South Asians using toilets is cultural appropriation.
    Heh. A good friend is currently in Bangladesh doing medical research. She can tell you that there are plenty of people there NOT guilty of that form of cultural appropriation.

    Shreena Gandhi teaches in the Religious Studies Department at Michigan State University. She received her BA from Swarthmore College, her MTS from Harvard Divinity and her PhD from the University of Florida where she focused on Religion in the Americas. She is working on revising her manuscript to focus on liberal white supremacy culture and yoga in the US, and is working on a long term project with other scholars of color, tentatively titled, Decolonizing US Religious History.

    Lillie Wolff is an antiracist white Jewish organizer, facilitator, and healer. She is an Organizer/Trainer with Crossroads Antiracism and has been a student and practitioner of yoga since 2003. Lillie is passionate about decolonizing and politicizing yoga and the healing arts, and building a sustainable movement for collective liberation that is grounded in accountable spiritual practice and healing justice. She was a Joint Regional Fellow with the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in 2017. Lillie earned a BA in Human Development and Social Relations from Kalamazoo College.

Play nice.