Monday, October 26, 2015

Jennifer Oliver OConnell — Racist ‘Yoga for people of color’ is opportunity for dialogue not divisiveness

Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, a black conservative yoga instructor discusses the growing controversy surrounding the rise of race-based yoga sessions.

Communities Digital News

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18, 2015—Next to the court decision that Bikram Yoga’s Bikram Choudury has no copyright protection on his billion-dollar Hot Yoga sequence, the latest shakeup in the yoga community surrounds a yoga class in Seattle-based Rainier Beach, Wash., that is aimed at people of color and specifically asks that white people not attend.

Apparently Rainier Beach Yoga’s “yoga for people of color” has run once a month for five years without incident. That is, until a local KIRO host Dori Monson decided to make it a topic of his segment. Monson posed this question: “If it’s illegal and considered racist for a white, straight business owner to deny service to a gay person or person of color, shouldn’t the same be true for a yoga class that bars white people from attending?”

According to, Teresa Wang, co-founder of the specialized class, said it was started by five queer people of color who came together to create a safe space for people of color who might otherwise be uncomfortable.

Read the full article HERE.