About the Guest
Shreena Gandhi is a part of the Religious Studies Department at Michigan State University, where is primarily teaches classes on religion and race in the Americas. She is currently finishing up edits on a manuscript, A Cultural History of Yoga in the United States, which looks at the impacts of race, gender, and class on how yoga is practiced and commodified in religious and secular spaces. She is also collaborating with 4 other scholars of South Asian descent on an article titled Feminist Critical Hindu Studies in formation. Dr. Gandhi has presented her work nationally and internationally and is committed to intersectional scholarship and meticulous research grounded in facts.
In this Episode, We Discuss:
- Whiteness, white supremacy, and cultural appropriation.
- Honoring the roots of yoga.
- Colonialism, capitalism, and war and their relationship to white supremacy.
- Understanding orientalism and yoga.
- Unrooting westernization and white supremacy in the studies of philosophy and religion.
- Reflecting on privilege.
- An affirmative vision of the project of the United States.
Quotes from the Episode
Read more like this
I’m not convinced my yoga is better than your yoga because I am not in your body or your life or your circumstances or family constellation. I do not know where you come from or what makes you tick. I do not know what your body “needs”.
If the yoga industry wants to thrive again, it needs to start teaching more than fitness. Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel- all the techniques already exist within yoga’s traditions to offer a class that touches every part of our being. By offering more integrated classes that include pranayama, mantra, meditation and kriya, we can now provide a yoga experience, instead of just yoga poses.
Just as each feature of cosmic order has an essential nature, cosmic order itself has an essential nature. Bringing ourselves into harmony with the essential nature of cosmic order is the way by which we can live peacefully in the world. Conversely, dissonant action relative the essential nature of cosmic order brings about chaos and destruction.
Nikki Costello is an educator with 30 years of teaching and training experience in the Yoga and Wellness industry. She works at the intersection of social justice and Yoga with a focus on facilitating new models of embodied leadership.