Through open conversations and invaluable input from our community, we have come to appreciate the layered history and context surrounding IYD. We recognise that the celebration, originally intended to promote unity and global harmony through yoga, has become entangled with political and cultural issues, particularly Hindu nationalism and the views of Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister.
One of the key concerns raised is the potential for cultural appropriation. The appropriation of yoga, a practice with roots in diverse traditions and philosophies, and its connection to Hinduism, has led to the erasure of other cultural influences. This commodification and misrepresentation can perpetuate harmful narratives and marginalise communities whose contributions to yoga are often overlooked.
After extensive research, reflection, and internal discussions, we have chosen to take a different approach to IYD. Our intention is to foster inclusivity, encourage critical thinking, and provide educational resources to our community. We believe that it is crucial to create a safe and respectful space that acknowledges the concerns surrounding cultural appropriation and ensures the practice of yoga remains accessible to all.
Instead of participating in IYD, we will dedicate our efforts to continuous learning, growth, and the promotion of yoga as a year-round practice. We are committed to creating educational content that explores the diverse aspects of yoga, including its rich history, philosophies, and the Eight Limbs of Yoga. By sharing resources, practitioners, and books that have influenced our understanding, we aim to empower our community to engage in their own journey of discovery.
While we recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to navigating complex issues, we are committed to genuine and sustainable change. We understand that compromises may need to be made, considering the resources and time available to us as a brand. However, we strive to move beyond ambiguity and fear, aiming for transparency, accountability, and the spotlighting of the multifaceted nature of yoga stewardship.