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Yoga & The White Mask
Capitulate or Backbending?
"Oh my body, make of me always a man who questions!" – Frantz Fanon
Is Yoga in the West wearing a white mask and therefore “forced” to identity itself with colonial culture? This workshop explores Euro/American ideas of Yoga. What is it, Who gets to decide and why? In reshaping Yoga to our own self-image do we inadvertently capitulate to western, colonial hegemony? Familiarising ourselves with the anti-colonial critique of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and Glen-Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks, we’ll explore the coercive cruelties of colonialism and what post-colonial, decolonisation might mean in the current context of Yoga.
Although motivated by theoretical discourse, this workshop is ultimately an embodiment practice that uses Asana as a psycho-somatic tool for sensing how our experience of ourselves, has been largely shaped by colonial conditioning.
The week will focus on a full range of backbending postures from Anjaneyasana to Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana to Dhanurasana and Chakrasana in all their classical and variant forms.
All bodies and levels welcome.
Class instruction, reading and video materials are in English.
Recommended: If you intend on attending this course you can find Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Mask in your mother language. I do not think Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks has been translated into other languages. It is not necessary to do any pre-requisite reading, as the subject matter will be unfolded in the context of class/practice, but if you desire, Fanon is widely available.
ArtistBio: Sri Louise