Whether you are drying out from Cinco de Mayo or recently taken a restorative yoga class, both have elements of Mexican history and culture. Let’s leave this video to discuss the former while we dive into the latter.
As I lay into savasana with a warm blanket draped over my body, I couldn’t help but wonder about this blanket. Yoga blankets are wonderful, might I add. They have a texture, color and weight that provides consistent comfort however, these particular blankets aren’t of Indian origin.
These ubiquitous Mexican yoga blankets can be found in studios around the world. So how did this come to be? Turns out, B.K.S. Iyengar is the culprit.Actually, blankets and towels have been used in yoga for many years however, these high quality blankets were purchased by B.K.S. Iyengar and he grew fond of its use for yoga while traveling throughout Mexico.
I, too, have grown fond of these amazing blankets as they provide the, at times, much needed support when practicing yoga. However this blanket was selected, utilized and made incredibly popular, this Mexican yoga blanket represents craftsmanship and a vibrant culture but most importantly the people in which this blanket has its origins.
According to the 2016 Yoga in America Study, there has been a significant uptick in yoga practitioners to 36 million people. Let me say that again, 36 million people!!!
That is literally the population of Canada. In addition, the yoga industry accounts for nearly $16 billion dollars. I feel like I should have my pinkie at the crease of my smile.
$16 billion dollars [insert evil laugh]
With nearly 80 million more people likely to try yoga in the next year, I can’t help but think about the humanity of Mexican people while rows of yoga mats are uncurled in city centers, parks, studios throughout the U.S. How can we enjoy the benefits of Mexican culture, whether it be food, music, holidays, or blankets, while supporting a government that erases immigrant identity, demonize both immigrants and U.S. citizens of Mexican or Latin heritage (a certain someone doesn’t know the difference)?
Let that sink in for a moment.
I will give you the answer. Google “cognitive dissonance” after reading this blog.
Wait! Before you go, I want to give you some homework. Think of your actions. Next time you are being supported by your blanket, think of the hands that made that fabric. When you are bundled in savasana, think about the countless children that are separated from their parents at the border and covered by thermal blankets.
Yoga helps create awareness of your body, your thoughts and humanity. Let’s hope that 80 million yoga practitioners consider someone else’s humanity through their actions.