Before I made my videos with @siulim I spoke with someone who was trying to act as my manager. This person advised against it. “Keep religion off your channel, they (Muslims) aren’t supposed to be photographed or do yoga” I was told. I considered this advice for a moment and then dismissed it. Many Hijabis practice yoga with me. There are numerous misconceptions about Muslims these days that have been popularized by the American media and because I have had the good fortune of befriending Muslims and teaching Muslim yogis I thought it would be cool to show us doing yoga together.
People are people.
And some people wear hijabs.
Contrary to popular belief, just because a woman covers her head doesn’t mean she can’t do yoga or is repressed. Actually, the only religious people who have ever stopped me from teaching yoga at their organization were Christians who believed that the poses invited the devil into the body. Of course, not all Christians feel this way but some do and so they don’t want their community members to do yoga. Fair enough. Different strokes for different folks. I suppose I’m just sharing this to remind people to be brave enough to meet each person with an open mind. Each of us has been conditioned to prejudge and I would like to encourage you all to practice dropping those filters. The world is a far lovelier and more interesting place if you create space in your mind for the unexpected.
While traveling the world and visiting the same communities year after year I have made many of the unlikeliest of friends. These people have made me such a bigger and better human being. Friends, yogis, you know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.