Yoga Philosophy | Unpacking Appropriation

Join Ruth Westoby on this Deep Dive session into Unpacking Appropriation

Yoga Deep Dive |Session 5

18 Sept 2021 | 9 am - 12 pm | VIRTUAL LIVESTREAM with Ruth Westoby

This session can be attended by anybody, as a stand-alone workshop or as an optional module on our 300-hour programme in conjunction with our Foundation Yoga Philosophy course.  

Course Overview

Cultural appropriation’ is the criticism that white people take cultural artefacts – ideas, styles, yoga – from people of colour, change them, commodify them, and sell them. It’s the idea that dominant, white, imperialist groups do this with no understanding or respect for the sacredness of these ideas and practices, and in the process perpetuate power imbalances and cause offence to the lineage holders of these traditions. Cultural appropriation can be viewed as element of identity politics that has been drawn on by diverse agendas including the Hindu American Foundation’s ‘take back yoga’ campaign.

In this session Ruth will present on cultural appropriation and the legacies of colonialism and orientalism in which yoga is embedded. We will discuss the globalisation of yoga and the politicisation of bodies. We will debate ideas of global commons, heritage of (wo?)mankind, identity politics, essentialisation, the application of the property ownership paradigm ato cultural artefacts and cultural flows or appreciation. Please join us to unpack these complex issues


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Course Content

Suitable for anybody interested in this subject matter. Join us to delve deep into the topic and take part in discussions and gain knowledge from Ruth Westoby- Doctoral Researcher at SOAS and Ashtanga practitioner



  • A 200-hour yoga teacher training is usually a prerequisite for joining any of our Level 2 trainings but not essential 
  • This course can be taken as a stand-alone course or as part of our 300-YA accredited programme
  • The course VIRTUAL LIVESTREAM with catch up sessions available for 7 days if you cant attend
  • If you do the Yoga Philosophy Foundations training and 3 deep dives you will gain a 20hr certificate and five deep dives for a 30 hr Certificate with Yoga Allicance
  • Once you have completed your 300-hour training you can register as a RYT 500 teacher
  • Teacher Bio

    Ruth Westoby is a doctoral researcher in yoga and an Ashtanga practitioner. Ruth teaches yoga history, philosophy and critical theory in workshops and on some of the principle teacher trainings in the UK and beyond. Ruth is researching for a doctoral thesis on ‘Bodies in Haṭhayoga: Gender, Materiality and Power’ at SOAS under the supervision of James Mallinson. She serves on the steering committee for the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies

    Ruth began to explore yoga practices in 1996 and started teaching postural yoga in 2004. Ruth has studied closely with Hamish Hendry and Richard Freeman. In 2010 she received an MA in Indian Religions from SOAS, University of London, with Distinction. In 2015 she was authorized by Sharat to teach Ashtanga level 2. Ruth collaborated with the Haṭha Yoga Project’s ‘embodied philology’, interpreting postures from an 18th-century text teaching a precursor of modern yoga, the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, in 2016 and 2017

    Express Interest

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    Course Dates

    The course has the following modules scheduled:

    Saturday 18 Sept 2021

    9am–12.00pm VIRTUAL LIVESTREAM


    All of our Deep Dives cost £40 per session including access to recordings for 7 days after