Decolonizing your yoga practice: transcending the yoga-industrial complex - The Ecologist: It took me going to India to really connect with the roots I was seeking on the mat in yoga studios. As I walked the streets of Shimla's legendary markets I learned that Indians had been forbidden to tread the main thoroughfares.
It was here that I started to apprehend the true meaning of colonization. Did you know that Yoga and Ayurveda were banned in India under British rule and colonization?
The practices millions of Westerners now turn to for alternative health and wellness therapies were intentionally eradicated from parts of India to the point that lineages were broken and thousand-year old traditions lost.
To be colonized is to become a stranger in your own land. As a desi, this is the feeling I get in most Westernized yoga spaces today. Of course, powerful practices that reduce suffering persist, despite all attempts to end them. These facts are critical to understanding the power and privilege we continue to possess or lack, to clarifying the positionalities we embody as we practice, teach and share yoga today.
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