Now that we’ve been sheltering in place for the bulk of 2020, I’ve had to find a way to keep myself present and grounded during this Black Mirror episode. Having a daily yoga and meditation routine has helped me tremendously to deal with the sense of loss and control as we watch the pandemic unfold.
I’ve been to yoga classes in California, Texas, and New York, mostly led by non-Indian yoga teachers. Perhaps it’s the ‘I-think-invented-yoga-attitude’ or overwhelming amount of ego (ironically), my knee jerk reaction is commonly serious eye-rolling when I hear yet another mispronounced or misappropriated yoga word without even a half-hearted attempt to say the words correctly–or at the very least acknowledge its roots.
Turning to YouTube, I started doing one of Yoga With Adriene’s 30-day program. Worried that I’ll encounter more cringeworthy appropriation, Adriene gracefully and graciously led me to serenity during the pandemic. Not only with her wonderful pronunciations, but also her amusing jokes about pretending to be kissed on the neck or Benji-related mishaps. I’m no yoga expert, but my cultural appropriation radars certainly aren’t sounding off when doing her videos as they have in many other yoga classes.
While she is likely making millions of dollars through her Adidas partnership and is both a trained actor and yoga instructor, she embodies what I would hope to learn from any yoga teacher–being down to earth, a humility and respect for the practice, and learning to not take life so seriously, even in the most serious of times.
“Yoga is not about trying to be something you’re not, but returning home to who you really are.” – Adriene, YouTube yoga video