Yoga has become the latest victim of political correctness on university campuses, after a free class was cancelled because of complaints that the lessons were an unaceptable “cultural appropriation” of a non-Western practice.
Jennifer Scharf, a yoga practitioner who has offered free weekly sessions to students at the University of Ottawa in Canada since 2008, said she was shocked to receive an abrupt message telling her the classes were to be suspended.
“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,” she told The Independent.
The decision to cancel the classes was made by the Ottawa Student Federation, the university’s independent student body.
According to the Ottawa Sun, staff from the Centre for Students with Disabilities, where the classes were held for students of all abilities, wrote in an email: “While yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students…there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice. Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced”, and which cultures those practices “are being taken from”.