(credit) yoga lotus pose watercolor | joojoo @ etsy :
ISN’T IT IRONIC? DON’T YOU THINK?
Okay, I’m going to put it out there. I may get in some hot water. It’s just an observation and mine alone. And this is it: my yoga studio is one of the least diverse spaces I have ever encountered in my multicultural city.
I find this utterly ironic. (Note to self: I hope I haven’t misused the word “ironic” like Alanis did!). You know, because yoga is a discipline with origins in India and associated with the meditative practices of Buddhism and Hinduism, among other schools of thought.
Maybe it’s nothing. But I live in a city that is more than 50% non-Caucasian. Specifically I live in a city where the Asian population makes up a smidge more than 50% of its demographic profile.
“Asian” is defined here as mostly Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese (like me!), and Indian (although this ethnic group is considered “South Asian”). Despite these realities, the clientele at my yoga studio looks more Smith than Wong.
IS IT THE JONES?
My yoga studio happens to lie in a neighbourhood that appeals to both the modern urban professional, and the youthful outdoorsy type. It’s known for its community feel, and its mixed bag of neighborhood bars, university students, affluent families, yacht clubs, beaches, singles, young couples, young parents (yummy mommies), hippie roots, natural foods, wellness clinics, fancy pants restaurants, rental housing, beach-front homes, modern condos, and tree-lined million-dollar heritage homes.
Is this neighbourhood ethnically-diverse? In certain pockets, yes. So I’m curious as to why yoga doesn’t seem to appeal to all its residents. Of course I realize there is to consider an individual’s personal choices, interests, priorities, and the like.
After all, yoga may not be everyone’s thing. Especially not in our go-go-go-world, where instant-gratification is golden, and our brains are filled with too much random distracting information. Meditation and yoga isn’t exactly “instant.” The quieting of the mind bit? Yeah, yoga takes practice and patience to exact its rewards.
[I’m a Hatha and Yin kinda gal. So for those Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini, Moksha, Bikram, etc. folks, you might argue the rewards are in a way “instant”…]
LET IT GO
Perhaps the explanation is simple. Maybe I’m too sensitive. *shrug* It doesn’t bother me per se. It’s actually quite lovely that yoga can be accessible to many people, regardless of their background, their demons and joys, or their spiritual space.
In any case, it’s merely something I noticed on occasion as I was settling down onto my yoga mat. But now that I’ve honoured this thought “out loud,” so to speak, I shall now let it go and release it into the ether, to nary bother me again.
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