Popaganda Episode: Rethinking Yoga

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Yoga is a butt of a lot of jokes in our pop culture—the sexy pants! The downward dog!—but its reach into our society is both deep and powerful: 20.4 million Americans do yoga, 82 percent of whom are women. This show skips the silly stuff and digs deep with yoga teachers and scholars on two big issues in yoga. We talk with yoga researcher Rebecca D’Orsogna and The Science of Yoga author William J. Broad about why yoga gurus keep being involved in sex scandals. Then we discuss yoga’s role in nonviolent acitivism with Michael Stone, the director of Toronto’s Center of Gravity sanctuary, and how to talk about consent and inclusion in yoga with teacher Christian Slomka.

All that in under 30 minutes! So breathe deeply and tune in!


Popaganda: Rethinking Yoga by Bitch Media on Mixcloud

This episode is sponsored by She Bop, a feminist sex toy boutique.

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A trasncript of this show will be posted later this week.

by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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5 Comments Have Been Posted

If you are going to take from

If you are going to take from another culture the least you could do is learn to pronounce Bikram's name correctly? This is rather insulting.

Bikram yoga is named after

Bikram yoga is named after its founder, a seventy year old Indian man named Bikram Choudry. Cultural appropriaton and mixing are inherent in our society because there is no 'American' culture on its own. Hence, while our Western interpretation of yoga is taken from Hindu practice of Yoga (we just do the Asanas, and not the devotions alongside with them), the word Bikram is just a name that can be mistaken like any other name, and does not have a spiritual practice alongside it. That misprononciation is what happens when you try to say words from one language in another.

...Second anon are you

...Second anon are you seriously trying to justify the mispronunciation by saying that's just what happens when America takes from other cultures? Really? There are South Asian Americans. They are American. Therefore it is part of their culture. Therefore it is still sickening to have their history erased. Cultural appropriation is not just taking from another culture. It's the erasure of all of its history and traditions. It's why it's so difficult to find a yoga teacher who is NOT white. It's why when white people make fun of yoga because its' "hard" or "weird" in commercials, it's disgusting. And it is NOT just "what happens" when you
try to say words from one language in another. As a nonwhite American I do pronounce names correctly and when I don't, I clarify and ask again and apologize for either pronouncing it wrong or knowing I will pronounce it wrong. This is really the willful ignorance of countless white Americans who mindlessly butcher names and make fun of them at the same time. Do not try to justify oppression by ignoring the history of usage of mispronunciation and normalization of cultural appropriation atrocities that WHITE America has performed. We've all heard it before.

Consent Cards, Very Cool

I love the sound of the consent cards to let the teacher of a class know whether you're okay with being touched and assisted in a pose. I'm one of the people that would flip it to 'No' for any class where I need to concentrate - I zone out and being touched unexpectedly makes me jump. Because everyone else seems so comfortable I always end up feeling incredibly awkward and apologetic for being startled and it takes me ages to settle back down!

Transcript of the podcast?

Is there a transcript of this podcast available? The page says a transcript will be posted, but I don't see a link to one. Thanks for any guidance.

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