Tejal Patel and Jesal Parikh met years ago in a training in NYC. They were both relieved to finally make a Desi yoga teacher friend who could relate to each other’s experiences with yoga in America vs. yoga in India, and to have someone to bitch to about the cultural appropriation, racism, exploitation and general belittling that they experienced in that training and in many others. But after a few years of having these conversations in hushed tones so as not to offend their white colleagues, they decided it was high time their voices and experiences were heard. They created the Yoga is Dead podcast as a way to jumpstart critical conversations, elevate oppressed voices and perspectives and to expose the problems felt by anyone who isn’t in the “in” crowd of the yoga industry.
Yoga Is Dead is one of Kathryn’s favorite podcasts to listen to and learn from, which is why she was very excited to have the chance to speak with Tejal and Jesal. Together they tackle a few big topics from cultural appropriation, to chanting in classes, the new wave of “functional movement yoga” that Kathryn has been a big part of and how to broach political topics with students. Listening to these women speak will prepare you to question what you think yoga is, and how it is presented in the west. This is a really important conversation, and we highly recommend you subscribe to the Yoga Is Dead podcast to learn more from these generous teachers.