Yoga is 'cultural appropriation,' Barnard event claims

Students at Barnard College are being treated to a lecture series intended to educate them about “power, privilege, and oppression,” such as the “cultural appropriation” that is yoga.

The discussion series, which launched last week, is called the “Barnard BLUE Collective,” and is sponsored by the Student Life Department.

Every Monday evening in October features a discussion on a different topic, including college party culture and “faux feminists.”

According to the Barnard Student Life homepage, the office considers “multicultural and social justice education” as one of the ways it pursues its mission to “foster a respectful and inclusive community on campus.”

The topic of the kickoff event, held Oct. 3, was “Labels: Empowering, Limiting, or Both,” which will be followed by “Sorry for Party Rocking: College Party Culture & its Implications” on Oct. 10.

The following week, students will have the opportunity to hear a discussion about “Health at the Expense of Cultural Appropriation: Yoga and Zumba,” and the series is scheduled to conclude on Oct. 24 with a dialogue on “Faux Feminists: Pop Culture Icons & Hypocrisy.”

Barnard officials declined to comment on the content of the programming.

The series is part of a broader initiative at Barnard called “Barnard BLUE,” which is designed to “engage students in intentional dialogues to explore their identities and what it means to foster inclusive communities,” according to the school’s website.

Barnard BLUE also offers a number of workshops on “intersectional and social justice centered topics” and a summit for students to explore how their identities shape their development as leaders.

This is not the first time Barnard has offered events to educate students on cultural appropriation. Last fall, there was a “Cultures, Not Costumes” fashion show and an anti-cultural appropriation crafting workshop, and Barnard is currently hosting an art-exhibit by a person whose work focuses on cultural appropriation.

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