You would think that yoga would be one of the least threatening exercises out there, considering the endless benefits it has for your physical and mental well-being.
Yet the harmless practice has come under attack by a university following complaints that the free classes were an unacceptable ‘cultural appropriation’ of a non-Western practice.
Jennifer Scharf, a yoga teacher who has been holding free weekly all-ability sessions to University of Ottawa students since 2008, said she was shocked to received an abrupt email announcing the cancellation of her classes.
Speakingsaid: ‘I’d been in touch to prepare for the new semester’s classes when, out of nowhere, I received an email telling me there were some issues in terms of a formal complaint.’
The classes were cancelled by the Ottawa Student Federation, the university’s independent student body.
Staff from the Centre for Students with Disabilities wrote in the email: ‘While yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students…there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice.’