A free yoga class held in Canada's capital city of Ottawa was shut down recently for what some people considered 'cultural appropriation'.
The weekly class, held through the University of Ottawa's Centre for Students With Disabilities, has been offered by instructor Jennifer Scharf for nearly 8 years. She was shocked to learn that it could not be allowed to continue after complaints were made that the practice was offensive.
"While yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students ... there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice." the Centre explained in a statement. "Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced."
A suggestion made by one Centre employee is that the name 'yoga 's changed to 'mindful stretching'.
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"I'm not pretending to be some enlightened yogi master, and the point (of the program) isn't to educate people on the finer points of the ancient yogi scripture." says instructor Jennifer. "The point is to get people to have higher physical awareness for their own physical health and enjoyment."
The free class is currently being rebranded by the Centre to create their new, improved 'mindful stretching' class for the new year. Hopefully Jennifer will back providing her free fitness and wellness knowledge for all students soon!
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the Centre's decision or have they blown this incident out of proportion?
Source: Ottawa Sun
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