A January essay about a white woman's sudden discomfort with the lack of diversity in her yoga class published by XOJane was panned across the Internet, but appears to be at least partially responsible for another more proactive result.
According to Gothamist, a class titled "Brown Sugar: Yoga for Folks of Color with Calia" is being offered at the Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The teacher, Calia Marshall, told them that its creation wasn't a direct response to the infamous XOJane essay, but wouldn't deny the subconscious motivation or, in her eyes, necessity.
"Yoga classes are really expensive and not accessible to working class or low income folks," she explained. "I've been in this community for a long time; I don’t see myself reflected in the community very often."
Before the rants about segregated yoga in Brooklyn begin, Marshall maintains that the class is open to everyone. "It's up to each of us as individuals to be able to self-identify—if someone self-identifies as a person of color, they're welcome to be in that space," she said. "Every class we have is open to everyone. This one was created to open a doorway for some new people to show up."
The class will last from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow and cost $16. Though it's supposed to be a one-time thing, it probably needs to happen more. Or at least until the perception of who yoga is "for" changes completely.