The “Business” of Yoga.
From Lachrista Greco of Rebel Grrrl Italiana.
I have been doing Power Yoga Teacher Training for the past two and a half months.
It has been an amazing experience, and I just recently finished. I completed the training through a corporation, and while I love this particular place and its many amazing teachers, it has been difficult negotiating my feelings regarding “corporate” yoga with my desire to keep the traditional, unmaterialistic viewpoint that is yoga’s foundation.
First, I should say that, yes, I understand yoga has become a big business in the Western world. There are thousands of yoga studios all around the U.S. teaching many different styles of the ancient discipline.
I understand that yoga has become more than a “fad.”
My problem is a personal one:
Do I want to further my yogic development by teaching rich, white women who have easy access to it, or do I want to bring yoga to those who can’t easily access it—those who would never take a class, or be able to take a class, had it not been offered to them in a more inclusive way?
I have never wanted to set foot in the corporate world; the non-profit sector has always been my “calling.” I enjoy helping those who are often overlooked. This became more apparent after I received my Master’s Degree in Women’s & Gender Studies. We studied all different types of oppression, and how these oppressions interlock. Not a day went by where we didn’t discuss privilege–what it is, who has it/doesn’t have it, what it means in relation to race, class, ableness, and sex.
I feel myself constantly brought back to the idea of privilege when I attend a yoga class.When I’m at the particular studio I attend, I look around and see mostly white, upper-class (based on their yoga apparel) women who have all the time/money in the world to do yoga. The only reason I have been able to attend yoga (and the training) is because…
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Lachrista Greco, M.A. is currently co-authoring a book about the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She writes about various issues through an American-Italian feminist lens on her blog. She is also a member of the Feminist Creative Alliance, a Chicago-based arts organization.