More than two years ago when the podcast was launched, I did a cultural appropriation of yoga episode because it was specifically a topic that we as Indian yoga teachers get questions about. But I haven’t really gone back to it since because I feel like the yoga world is indulging too much in the superficial easier aspects of cultural appropriation.
However, one of my guests, Vikram Jeet Singh suggested who is no stranger to this podcast, reached out about this. I’m actually really glad he did because this is something that I know resonates very deeply with both of us. Vikram is not only knowledgeable and wise but he’s incredibly generous in offering his insight to yoga teachers and yoga students.
In my humble opinion, cultural appropriation has become a very convoluted topic in many ways. People are not sure where to go to really do cultural appropriation of yoga work and how to recognize what’s happening. On top of that, there is this whole new stream of yoga teachers who are building a business and career purely on cultural appropriation of yoga and there is even political activism that has gotten so intertwined with yoga and cultural appropriation at least here in North America.
I believe the real work in appropriation lies deeper. It’s harder work. So I hope you join us as we have a very open and honest conversation right from what is appropriation to examples of appropriation and so much more!
Vikram took his first asana class at Modo Yoga in the fall of 2006 and right away fell in love with the practice. After regularly practicing for about a year and a half, he finished the 500 hour Modo Teacher Training in Kerala, India in March 2008. After teaching part-time for a few months, Vikram decided to switch careers and ultimately left his HR job to pursue a full-time teaching career. Vikram has taught at various Modo locations in the GTA since November 2008. Over the course of the years, he has accumulated over 11,000+ hours of teaching experience.