I should probably check and make sure no one was tied up and beaten in order to smuggle yoga practice out of India before I go on a rant.

That didn't happen, did it?

OK. Good.

I just can't connect the dots here. How does modern yoga practice that is supposedly for exercise and physical well being offend anyone?

According to the Independent, students at the University of Ottawa had a free yoga class that was open to any and all banned from the campus because it lacks cultural sensitivity.

Is it offensive because we culturally appropriated it and changed it? If so, why? What is wrong with looking at a practice that has been going on for millenia and harvesting its wisdom in a package that fits our schedules and pocketbooks? Is learning from an ancient practice offensive?

Last time I checked, the takeover of India by Britain wasn't done in order to rob the Indian people of their religious practices. It was done for money, control and to spread the glory of the monarchy. That imperialism's negative effects in India, Africa and all over the world are still reverberating.

However, that doesn't mean that the practice of yoga by white people has anything to do with it.

There is no imperialism in the history of the development of yoga in the west. No one was hurt in the making of modern yoga practice (please correct me if I'm wrong, I feel I have a pretty good handle on how yoga has evolved as a western practice, but let me know if you know of something in the history of it that shows that it hurt someone).

American yoga practiced in yoga studios and health clubs is not culturally similar to the reasons why yoga has historically been practiced over the millenia. The reason Indians practiced yoga was to stretch their bodies to prepare for deeper meditation practices, and as part of a deeper spiritual practice.

Modern yoga was born in California. It came from real yogis, many of whom profited by developing it into a palatable and enjoyable form of exercise for westerners.

At no time did anyone hold a musket to a yogi and say 'Your sutra or your life.'

What these students at the University of Ottowa are showing is that they are actually the oppressors. They are excluding people who would learn something from a different culture by dipping their foot into a cultural norm that comes from somewhere besides the town they grew up in. They are saying, "Because white people have hurt dark people in the past, they shouldn't be allowed to do yoga."

That's not culturally sensitive. It's a nonsense sandwich. And sooner or later, the perpetrators are going to have to take a big bite.