“A few weeks ago, as I settled into an exceptionally crowded midday class, a young, fairly heavy black woman put her mat down directly behind mine. It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio—she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes, looking wide-eyed and nervous. Within the first few minutes of gentle warm-up stretches, I saw the fear in her eyes snowball, turning into panic and then despair. … Because I was directly in front of her, I had no choice but to look straight at her every time my head was upside down (roughly once a minute). … Even when I wasn’t positioned to stare directly at her, I knew she was still staring directly at me.
Over the course of the next hour, I watched as her despair turned into resentment and then contempt. I felt it all directed toward me and my body.I was completely unable to focus on my practice, instead feeling hyper-aware of my high-waisted bike shorts, my tastefully tacky sports bra, my well-versedness in these poses that I have been in hundreds of times. My skinny white girl body. Surely this woman was noticing all of these things and judging me for them, stereotyping me, resenting me…”
|Image found on: blackyogis.tumblr.com|
Written by a woman, who promptly changed her byline following the collective outcry of ‘Girl, bye!’ in the comments section, Jen