University of Ottawa Students Pull The Mat On Yoga Classes As “Cultural Appropriation”

Uottawacoa.svgUstrasana_-_Camel_PoseI have been writing a great deal about my concern over the erosion of free speech on our campuses. Part of the problem is that I sometimes have a difficult time even understanding the objection to some forms of speech or association as in the ever-widening range of things deemed “micro aggressions.” The latest such example is out of the University of Ottawa where students have been told that popular yoga classed have been suspending out of concerns that they involve a form of “cultural appropriation.” Jennifer Scharf, who have been leading the free weekly yoga sessions for eight years, is understandably confused but Staff at the Centre for Students with Disabilities believe that “while yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students … there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice.” Just for the record, the two horses on the university seal are not doing the “Lord of the Dance” yoga position.

Scharf, a yoga teacher with the downtown Rama Lotus Center, insists that the action was taken after a single complaint from a “social justice warrior” with “fainting heart ideologies.” However, student leaders insist that they have long-standing qualms over yoga as a “cultural appropriation” and that changes may have to be made to consider the implications of what people are doing in assuming these yoga positions. That may seem rather . . . well . . . twisted logic for most of us but it seems to make perfect sense in today’s environment of growing limitations on speech and associations.

The center stated “Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced” and the propriety of participating in such practices without considering where they “are being taken from.” The center noted that these cultures “have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy … we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga.”

Acting student federation president Romeo Ahimakin insists that they are simply going to examine the yoga sessions “to make it better, more accessible and more inclusive to certain groups of people that feel left out in yoga-like spaces. … We are trying to have those sessions done in a way in which students are aware of where the spiritual and cultural aspects come from, so that these sessions are done in a respectful manner.” Putting aside the utter nonsense of the basis for suspending yoga classes, there is also the question of the right of the university to control the speech and associational rights of dozens of students who want to participate in this exercise.

In the meantime, sixty students have been told to go elsewhere for the moment if they want a culturally appropriated workout.

40 thoughts on “University of Ottawa Students Pull The Mat On Yoga Classes As “Cultural Appropriation””

  1. (music to the tune of Iowa- That Where The Tall Corn Grows)

    Ottawa! Otta Wa!
    That’s where the tall corn grows.

    And, for everyone it grows up your butt.
    It wouldn’t be a Willy or a Fred.
    There ain’t no sense in Ottawa.
    For that is where brains are lone.

  2. John,
    Agree completely with what you say. Just see a steady erosion our the freedoms you mentioned.

  3. “The center stated “Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced” My conspiracy radar is being activated….reaching for the tinfoil. Could this have anything to do with India being part of BRICS? We must now demonize India as well as Russia? Nah…

  4. Rolling on the floor laughing my crippled arse off.

    The fruit of liberalism is finally ripe and these morons are ripe for the picking. When Jihadi John comes to cut off their head, he isn’t going to care much for cultural sensibilities. It would be amusing to see the look on their face after the 1st cut.

    They probably wouldn’t even have the insight to understand that liberalism led to their destruction. Their minds have been so warped by that alien and perverted view of life they are no longer recognizable as thinking and reasoning human beings but have been transformed into sentient beings void of any rational thought.

    The death cult that is liberalism is finally bearing it’s ugly and bitter fruit.

  5. The quest for tolerance can lead to great intolerance.

    There are going to be some very angry people who had their inner peace taken from them.

  6. This is clearly another one of those cases where idiots somehow get into positions of power. There is absolutely no reason to identify, deliberate, and decide anything here. These fools should be outed, monitored, and vilified.

    Didn’t I say something like this a few posts back regarding Bush, Trump, Carson, Rubio, etc. In Canada this nonsense is luckily kept in the circus which is the student controlled elements of the University. Here in the US we find it in the ascent to the positions of the most powerful and dangerous people on earth. Ya simply have to have a sense of humor or go mad.

  7. No more tango which is alright because nobody north of the Amazon knows how.

  8. The SJW doth protest too much, methinks.

    What’s next, no acupuncturists because it relates to the European colonization of Macau, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tianjin, along with the Boxer Rebellion?

    It seems these people who are so offended by yoga are just looking for something to complain about and are getting desperate because the school is otherwise in harmonious order.

    A free yoga class is a blessing. Nearly every other place charges for these sessions and for many they bring important health benefits.

    You have to wonder what these students’ victimization hierarchy is. They condemn the yoga due to being reminiscent of oppression but in doing so they are then attacking those who don’t have extra money to pay for yoga classes, and they take away services from those who have medical or psychological issues that yoga has been shown by numerous studies to provide a benefit. They rely on some bizarre abstract notion to deprive people of legitimate therapy. Their priorities are considerably misplaced.

    Maybe if these protesters spent their idle time attending to their studies the distraction would be better for them–and everyone else as well. Time to stop chasing waterfalls.

  9. Roydenoral,

    “Are we moving back to segration?”

    Free Americans may “move” anywhere they choose under the founding documents and government has no authority to impose communistic “social engineering.” Free people, including minorities, have to live with their own characteristics and adapt to the consequences of freedom. While there are laws against violence, stalking, murder, robbery, assault, battery, etc., Americans have the right to freedom of thought, speech, press, assembly, religion, private property, etc., in which discretion, discrimination and even racism fall.

    The communistic social engineering of affirmative action, “Fair Housing,” “Anti-Discrimination” law, for example, is irrefutably unpreambular, unconstitutional, anti-American freedom, subversive and treasonous.


    Communist Manifesto

    Central Planning
    Control of the Means of Production
    Social Engineering
    Redistribution of Wealth

  10. Political Commissar

    “The political commissar (also political officer) is the supervisory political officer responsible for the political education (ideology) and organization, and committed to the civilian control of the military. Historically, the commissaire politique (political commissary) first appeared in the French Revolution (1789–99), guarding it against anti-Revolutionary thought and action, and so ensuring the Republican victory.”


    Alexander Fraser Tytler –

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”


    The one-party state of California is a de facto dictatorship, in fact, the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”
    The U.S. government maintains its charade of multiple party composition with RINO’s acting as republicans, ostensibly different from democrats, while every collectivist idea of the past 150 years has been swiftly passed and implemented in “…the land of the free;” the land with the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights; founding documents that were intended to facilitate complete freedom, limit the creeping collectivism of the working masses and be a great big NO.


    You respond with nonchalance and amusement.

    They’ve brainwashed and induced you to call it “political correctness.”

    It is, in fact, the mortal enemy,

    on the verge of total victory.

  11. JT,

    This is incredibly stupid and I’m not sorry you pointed this out because it is a form of fascism of the mind which has run rampant in many societies. However, I have noticed that there are significant legal issues concerning the USG that you haven’t been writing about for quite some time. I hope you will write about them as well as issues such as the above.

    Every single culture takes from every other culture that it has interacted with. I don’t have any problem pointing out the origin of yoga in India. It is one which demands mindless obedience of one’s guru. This mindless obedience has carried over to the US and Canada where many people follow their guru and refuse to think for themselves.

    It certainly would be helpful to dump this kind of thing. In the meantime, cultures will continue to borrow from each other. This isn’t intrinsically good or bad. It can be either. The way to prevent taking up bad parts of other traditions is to have a mind/heart and use them! However, to believe that one can not take up practices from any culture but one’s own very narrow group is sad. You can’t learn much if you only allow yourself a very limited understanding of the world.

  12. Are we moving back to segration? Non-white ethnic groups want to have their own spaces where other ethnic groups are not allowed.
    Since we have mostly lost our freedom of speech, what other behaviors will be criminalized? If I am in a public place and laugh at a group of BLM idiots will I be charged with hate laughter? How about if I just stare at them, ? Hate staring? If I leave, will I be charged with some type is hate abandonment? This never stops.
    O brave new world that has such people in it.

  13. KCF……Your 8:52AM post reminded me to dust off my DVD of Python’s LOB. A heartwarming holiday flick, starting with the”Nativity Scene”.

  14. Mental illness at college campuses does not respect national borders and these days seems highly contagious.

  15. What about Christmas? I guess only white Europeans will get to celebrate that and we should kick out all black and Asian folks. I think that those of German ancestry like myself should demand German food since not having it available makes such folks feel unwelcome. Why leave this silliness to Indians, and Muslims? The only way to fight stupidity is to join those folks and demand OUR rights too. Maybe then such fools will wake up and do something the college is supposed to do and make them THINK.

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