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YOGA (dreams)

people of color, exotification, body image, diaspora, south asian, yoga, wellness, w.o.c feminism, accessibility

Hardeep Jandu

on 26 January 2013

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Transcript of YOGA (dreams)

yoga, a basic background: -vedic philosophy, with many decentralized, local practices.
-1893, Swami Vivekananda, Chicago World's Fair.
-"Autobiography of a Yogi", Paramahansa Yogananda, 1943.
-Context of "yellow peril", "hindu/hindoo scare", late 19th century - Anti-Asian American immigration policy. let's break down that video.
where did you see...? yoga: re-imagining (critical) healing
for organizing spaces. i am not exotic, i am exhausted. "As desi girl who has fought so hard her whole life to gather the remains of her culture into her arms, cradle them, and hug them close so that no one could steal them away….going to an american yoga studio is such a trip. ...I see all these white women who want to learn from indian culture/wisdom, but for them yoga is just an exercise, just learning from another (exotic) culture. All new. But for me its gathering the remains of my culture. The things I wished I had grown up around. The parts of my culture that I don't believe should be priced for $15/hour".

-Shaina Patel, high school teacher, political organizer. some more thoughts. so we get it, yoga objectifies a larger complex history, packages and sells it. for us marked as "non-white other". it takes some parts of culture and uses capitalism to create it as assimilable.
but really, now what? is there constructive way to then, practice yoga? what does it mean to be a person of color, while understanding the politics of healthcare and access to wellness within the united states (as disposable, excess bodies), but also to understand the roots of yoga?
can a yoga space be critical of capitalism, able-ism, a remembrance of displacing an indigenous practice? -be mindful of race/gender/sexuality, ie: positionality.

that is, we are speaking about yoga from a theoretical framework that identity positioning informs everything. race is a social construct which shifts different realities.

(theory: sunglasses. ) one person, one mic. we're all still learning! active listening, mindfulness, eye contact. any others? emotional justice: -yogic philosophy: union of mind and body.
many different branches. -post 9/11, the re-emergence of interest in yoga, bollywood, bellydancing through an orientalist imaginary.
-trying to make the "alien" somehow palatable. Yto Barrado exotification. power. capitalism.
orientalism. privileges. empowerment. la casa: de-colonial community yoga. a small project i'm starting up. crunk feminist collective. "heaviness" -trauma within poc/qpoc
organizing spaces.
-collective, individual,
colonial hysteries. "Oppression is trauma.
Every form of inequity has a traumatic impact on the psychology, emotionality and spirituality of the oppressed. The impact of oppressive trauma creates cultural and individual wounding. This wounding produces what many have called a “pain body”, a psychic energy that is not tangible but can be sensed, that becomes an impediment to the individual and collective’s ability to transform and negotiate their conditions." trauma as disassociation.
capitalism as disassociation.

yoga, healing spaces as radical embodiment. critical healing within organizing spaces. discussion: what does that look like? what are the ethics? how is "healing work" gendered and racialized? one:ones, resonance.
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