Not to be too academic on a Friday, but….
Contemporary commercial yoga presents women with two options with regards to practice:
- Get fit
- Get famous
When such a limited body-/personality-centric scope becomes the norm, and the dominant narrative of contemporary yoga culture is written by yogalebrities who rarely suggest women engage the tradition and texts of yogic history, sometimes you just gotta look outside your own scene for a bit of inspiration.
Here, Islamic scholar and feminist, Amina Wadud, discusses the necessity for women to openly engage and respond to spiritual texts from their own specific feminine context:
Known for her Qur’anic exegesis, her 2006 work Inside the Gender Jihad: Women’s Reform in Islam, and her belief in including female-centric readings of spiritual texts into the overall religious discourse, Wadud is most famous for her leading mixed-gender Islamic prayer services, the most notable of which having occurred on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in 2005.
No doubt about it, Amina Wadud’s belief in making women’s experiences of spiritual traditions a valid standard is a force to be reckoned with. For this, we honor her as our Friday Good.
I prayed, at first, a little Girl,
Because they told me to—
But stopped, when qualified to guess
How prayer would feel—to me—
If I believed God looked around,
Each time my Childish eye
Fixed full, and steady, on his own
In Childish honesty—
And told him what I’d like, today,
And parts of his far plan
That baffled me—
The mingled side
Of his Divinity—
And often since, in Danger,
I count the force ’twould be
To have a God so strong as that
To hold my life for me
Till I could take the Balance
That tips so frequent, now,
It takes me all the while to poise—
And then—it doesn’t stay—