...and women are definitely taking the lead in the rewriting of the patriarchal performative scripts that test the tissues against transcendent ideals. “ —Matthew Remski
How do we, as 21st century women want to lead and practice? I hope we can learn enough history and context to inspire a mass divergence from the tableau-style side-show-performance physical displays born out of twentieth century yoga (marketing). If we knew more, we’d see that we’ve inherited a punitive, gender-biased pedagogy that valued control, hierarchy, sacred geometry, constraint, harsh angles and force; a practice designed by men for men, drawing influence from military conditioning, wrestling and European gymnastics. (Which isn’t to malign any of those influences, we just need to know where these poses come from).
Indra Devi (born Eugenia Peterson) was the first woman to insist upon penetrating (intended) the male dominated yoga scene in 1920s India and begged to train with legendary Krishnamacharya. Only Indian royalty and only men were allowed to study with him up until this time and after meeting his rigorous demands full-time for a year, she was invited to teach his yoga. Armed with new skills she became a pioneer, promoter and force to be reckoned with, moving first to China and then to late 1940s Hollywood to preach the yoga gospel. But she, like all of the venerable 20th century teachers, made inflated, grandiose and questionable health claims about this promised-land-practice, insisting on its panacea ability to cure whatever ailed you.
#yogadiscourse #femalebody #movementculture #wawadia #whatareweactuallydoinginasana #indradevi #goddesspose #yogahistoryandphilosopy