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Race and Yoga

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Eating the Other Yogi: Kathryn Budig, the Yoga Industrial Complex, and the Appropriation of Body Positivity

  • Author(s): Miller, Amara Lindsay
  • et al.

This paper discusses the appropriation of body positivity discourse by Kathryn Budig and the yoga industry. During the appropriation process, the political nature of the movement is decontextualized and erased through adoption of individualized messages of body acceptance that largely ignore bodily differences by participation in ideologies of body-blindness. Despite the best of intentions and positive, heartfelt messages of body acceptance, Budig’s developing role as the face of body positivity continues overrepresentation of the “ideal yoga body” in mainstream yoga culture and contributes to restricted systems of meaning regarding (a) who is an “authentic” yogi and (b) what the practice of yoga looks like that continue to marginalize “Other” yogis who face the burden of new industry demands that you #loveyourbody (as long as it is white, thin, acrobatic, female, heterosexual, and so on). By downplaying the importance of the systemic critique of dominant yoga culture to focus on individual solutions, Budig and the yoga industrial complex contribute to the marginalization and “eating” of the Other yogi while simultaneously profiting from the individualization and depoliticization of the body positivity movement.

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