Virtue Signaling, White Fragility, COVID-19, and Iyengar Yoga

Wow! What a time to be alive. Nobody is comfortable. Nobody. I, along with hundreds of other people, take refuge in Manouso’s daily online classes. They are a godsend amidst this onslaught of uncertainty. I heard 601 students registered for Manouso’s class today! Many of you will know why I make such a statement. Gross. Manouso continues to pay his teachers with the proceeds from his class. What a gift this must be for his teachers, as yoga studios are still closed in California.

So here we are in a global pandemic and nightly protests about systemic racism in the United States, which have spanned the world. And what action is IYNAUS and other Iyengar Yoga institutes taking besides posting the ridiculous black squares on social media which have effectively muted the message from the black community? IYNAUS ethics committee is busy chasing down teachers who are studying with Manouso and threatening decertification! Talk about right action….

I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color. I define a white progressive as any white person who thinks he or she is not a racist, or is less a racist, or in the “choir,” or already “gets it.” White progressives can be the most difficult for people of color because, to the degree that we think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived. None of our energy will go into what we need to be doing for the rest of our lives: engaging in ongoing self-awareness, continuing education, relationship building, and actual anti-racist practice. White progressives do indeed uphold and perpetuate racisim, but our defensiveness and certitude make it virtually impossible to explain to us how we do so.”

Robin Diangelo from her book White Fragility

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