Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Race and Yoga

Race and Yoga bannerUC Berkeley

Yoga and the Metaphysics of Racial Capital


The professionalization of yoga teacher-training at Kripalu Center, a yoga facility named after Swami Kripalu, not only displaces the forms of spiritual quest from which the Center emerged. It also makes its yoga culture vulnerable to the circulation and consumption of racial fetishes, or racially inscribed images that distract from, or magically veil altogether, the endemic complications and histories of racial capitalism. Kripalu Center installs professionalization procedures – including the standardization of curriculum and assessment to legitimate teachers for competition in an expanding yoga market – that make it complicit with the transmission of racial fetishes. Ultimately, professionalization becomes one vector of a larger complex I call the metaphysic of racial capital, or an underlying narrative of capitalist production plotted by various forms of racial fetishes that ensure capital’s continuous regeneration.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View