Ep.19
"Decolonize Your Yoga Practice and Seek the Source"

with anusha wijeyakumar

“The top five authors on hinduism on Amazon are all-known salvation. So we can’t even top our own category and that shows you the problem of the continual colonisation of this practices.”
— Anusha Wijeyakumar

In this conversation, we explore the roots of yoga and how the tradition has been colonized and mis-appropriated. We touch on the anti-science and white supremacist rhetoric that has plagued the culture of yoga in the West, laid even more bare by the pandemic and social justice movement that’s gained momentum in 2020. And, of course, we talk about what we can do about it, what it means to be a devoted, humble student of yoga, and how one can be a yoga teacher in a way that’s in line with yoga’s philosophy.

 

 

 

Wijeyakumar has had a life-long connection to yoga. Raised in the tradition of Sanathana Dharma, she makes it clear that asana is simply one small part of the yoga tradition, meant to prime the body for seated meditation and Dharana. It’s only in the West, through colonization and appropriation, that asana has been equated with yoga. What’s more, the way asana is practiced in the West is far from inclusive, but yoga is as inclusive as a tradition can be.Anusha’s combination of wisdom and humility is compelling and inspiring. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.

 

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About Anusha

Anusha Wijeyakumar is a renowned yoga and meditation teacher, the Wellness Consultant for Hoag Hospital, an activist and lecturer on the topic of the decolonization of yoga. She is also the author of the book Meditation with Intention: Quick & Easy Ways to Create Lasting Peace.

OUR HOST: ALEX DICKINSON

 

Alex Dickinson is a writer, runner, and a yoga and meditation teacher. He approaches running and yoga practice with a similar mindset—as ways to connect mind and body, explore internal and external landscapes, and simply feel better. He finds the pairing of the pursuits is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s his mission to share the gifts of these practices fairly and equitably, with a great deal of respect for the roots of the practice and those who have passed it down the generations.

 

@alexdickinson

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