It was two years ago this month when we learned about the whitest thing ever: a white woman teaching an “Undoing Whiteness” yoga class in Seattle. Laura Humpf said her class was to “arrive at yoga’s literal meaning: union. White supremacy thwarts achieving that union within the individual and with others.” It would do so by dissecting the “pathology of whiteness” through movement.

Now, thanks to Yahoo News, we’re excited to read “Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance,” by yoga instructor and body activist Jessamyn Stanley. Stephanie Emma Pfeffer reports:

The book explores the existence of white supremacy and cultural appropriation in American yoga. “I would venture to say that everything in our collective society is rooted in white supremacy. I am sure there are many people who would disagree with that, and honestly I don’t care because I believe that and I know it’s the case,” she says.

“I think that we see it show up in a lot of different ways. In the same way it’s everywhere else and it has polluted everything else, it’s polluted yoga. It’s very much a part of how yoga has spread in America. The popularity of yoga really came down to wealthy white people wanting to learn and explore in a very specific way, and that’s why yoga has been so white for so long in America.”

Detailing the cultural appropriation in yoga, Stanley says it’s “rampant because we are still living in the legacy of colonization.”


She’s a body activist. There’s your answer.