We learned this week how dire the situation is in India. According to the New York Times, the end of the month culminated to 200,000 deaths, although many believe that the figures are much higher than that. We have seen daunting and harrowing images of mass cremations and stories of desperation for oxygen and medical care.
Many regard India as the birthplace of yoga and other Hindu-based practices that have migrated into Western culture. Although several different religious and cultural lineages practice yoga, Hinduism is largely credited with many of the yoga practices we use today.
Cultural appropriation and appreciation is often debated when it comes to practicing yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and other cultural practices that came to the West from India. In previous articles, we’ve explored how cultural appreciation differs from appropriation by honoring, respecting and showing up for the communities that keep the marginalized culture and practices alive.
What is happening in India warrants our attention and action. The practice of mindfulness that has helped us in many ways comes to us from the people that preserved it through colonization. By showing up through donating, amplifying Indian voices, and organizing with our platforms, we step away from appropriation and practice cultural appreciation.
We will be collecting funds to be donated as a community. Donate here and write a comment saying For India. Don’t forget to share the link with fellow practitioners!
Listen to the voices of five folks who are calling on the yoga community for action and attention to India’s crisis.
2. If you are a teacher, consider using your platform to educate, or donate the funds to an organization helping Indian folks during the crisis.
3. Tell studios, brands, and shops that use Indian practices to support India and educate their consumers and students.
4. Understand and acknowledge the role of white colonization and white supremacy in India and do the work of dismantling it by showing up
5. Donate to organizations that are assisting folks in India with obtaining medical care and food.