Meet Jean Wharf. She was ticketed, booted, then denied reboarding by a transit cop on the SkyTrain in Vancouver, BC. Why? For wearing a “F*uck Yoga” pin of course! Because the cop loves yoga and he was mad miffed! No, that’s not true. Wharf, 21, did indeed wear the pin and refused to take it off, and was therefore deemed a miscreant breaking the Trans-Link rule of no “foul, insulting, abusive or inappropriate language.” And now, a $175 ticket and counter-complaints later, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is coming to her side to speak on the much bigger issue of rights and freedom of speech.
Which we, of course, appreciate. But what we really want to know is, why does Wharf hate yoga so much?
Wharf said she wears the pin for its message.
“I wear it because so many people are doing yoga, but very few of them know why,” Wharf told The Sun in an interview.
“Yoga has been so industrialized that people have forgotten its purpose as a beautiful, ancient meditative practice.”
Oh, she doesn’t. Power to the people! YogAnarchy!
Boy, if they kicked off everyone from the subway in NY for wearing profane language we’d all be shit out of luck.
[Vancouver Sun, photo: Ian Smith, PNG]
my kind of gal…..
p.s. as someone who cut her young hippie teeth marching for women’s rights and the farmworkers’ movement (yeah, I’m that old), I wish I could meet her because I’d tell her RIGHT ON, MY DAUGHTER.
“Well behaved women seldom make history.”
Have people really “forgotten” what yoga’s roots and traditions are? The yogis I know sure haven’t! Perhaps these accused people simply don’t know? And of course according to the yogis of long ago ignorance is not bliss, but rather it is the cause of all suffering. Rather than swearing off a discipline with so many benefits to the human body, mind, soul – perhaps we just need to do a better job of appreciating and teaching where yoga came from, as well as celebrating what direction it is moving in. Cheers and bows to all those who walked the walk, posed the pose, and talked the talk before me. Namaste. Amen.
I commend her for doing this and taking a stand as to what yoga is regarded as today, a commodity and not what it should be, a practice. Todays society of high and mighty have stripped the core of yoga away with high priced merchandise and false advertising. Why is it that you can walk around with beer labels, porn stars and drugs on your shirts, jackets, hats and whatever else you carry and not be allowed to voice your opinion in public by wearing a pin that states what you believe. If I wear a pin that says “God fearing” and someone finds that offensive, does that mean I should be fined? NO!!! and neither should she. It’s almost as bad as Tom Cruise filing a lawsuit with Southpark over the “Trapped in the Closet” episode because they stated their opinion on a topic that they did not agree with. I believe in the pure form of yoga and I agree…..”Fuck Yoga!”
As much as I commend her for her views on capitalistic yoga and for sticking up for her freedom of speech, I have to wonder, has she forgotten what yoga is really all about? I’m not so sure someone who practices that “beautiful, ancient meditative” yoga would wear something like that. Aren’t we supposed to just let it go and not get sucked into that westernized yoga world? aren’t we supposed to practice ahimsa in more ways than just with our forks? I just think the pin doesn’t correspond with what she preaches. If Patanjali were here, do you think he woulf wear that pin? I say true yoga is love. No haters, please 🙂
I’ve worn my FUCK YOGA t-shirt to practice with a Guruji certified astanga teacher and others. I’ve been an avid yogi, very, VERY serious for 6+ years. I wear it sometimes because getting up at 5am for practice is hard & makes me grumpy, and then the shirt makes me laugh. It is very funny to walk into a shala thusly dressed.
My favorite pin that I own says “Nuke an Unborn Gay Whale for Jesus.” I have no idea what it actually means, but I sure love the reactions it gets from uptight christians. Should I be kicked off the train for that? Hell No! They should make me the damn conductor! I also prefer sucking yoga. I guess its an oral fixation or something. Suck Yoga! Suck Yoga! Suck Yoga! That’s what I’m talkin about!
I love this! Anything that makes us laugh about yoga is all right by me, especially when it also reminds us of why we do the practice in the first place.
As for laughing yoga I get it all from watching Shiva’s Trance Dance video. But yeah that’s a rather hefty fine for a four letter word. Industry, protocols– oh geez. “There will be more punishment than crime”.
LOL! Me, too! Shiva’s good fun.
And sadly, yes.
I think we found the next cover model for YJ.
This is the sound of two hands clapping, my Zen friend!
“if they kicked off everyone from the subway in NY for wearing profane language we’d all be shit out of luck” –
yea, whole train-car would have to kick itself off the tracks 😉
Actually just about anything done on Trans-link’s property can be ticketed for $175. You evaded a $2.50 ride ticket? $175, you spit? $175, being loud, using foul language, look like you are gonna start trouble, etc, etc…$175. They are actually a lot more profitable for the police dept than the traffic tickets.
The problem, (in terms of the situation) is not what her button says, but how annoying the transit company is in Vancouver.
FYI, I doubt anyone in Vancouver hate yoga…There are over 300 yoga studios in this mid size city…It definitely gets capitalized as a market, and there are thousands of styles of yoga to choose from as well…
I actually had an Indian man, whom studied yoga in India via a family lineage, that came to my class and told me after class that “none of the yoga here [Vancouver] are true yoga…” (except for mine for some reason……)
If I do see her on the trains or bus, I’ll give her a holla about how she’s featured on JD. =D (If she didn’t know already.)
I am annoyed by the holier-than-thou approach this chic has… I didn’t know why I was doing yoga for the first 6 months other than for a workout. Then, I started to get it. If it weren’t for starting out with commercialized yoga, I probably would’ve never discovered the real thing. Let us not forget that if you don’t get yoga, the yoga will eventually get you!
It took me over 3 years of regular practice to “get it”. But then, I afford mostly a home practice. Which, whether purists like it or not, turns out to be mostly a workout (practically all of it’s self-sequenced). The exhortations and intonations and deep philosophizing from the teacher I don’t go to can’t figure into this. Frak yoga I can’t pay for in this economy!
Don’t take it personally. I do agree that it’s a bit childish way to get a message across. A pin?! Are you serious? But the actual message is that ancient knowledge is passing away and being replaced by something more shallow. This does not mean those practicing yoga today is shallow. It just means that the yoga now is different from the yoga back then.
Because the cop loves yoga and he was mad miffed! No, that’s not true. Wharf, 21, did indeed wear the pin and refused to take it off,well its so good
Hi, I’m from Vancouver, and I just stumbled on this post. Sorry, hate to rain on the parade, but she was kicked off because of the pin, and because she was arrogant and abusive to the transit cops. She was TICKETED because she was dodging fare. Hardly a righteous cause.
Why is “fuck yoga” offensive to some? It’s as if they’ve been living in a jesus bubble their whole life and someone comes up to them and says “fuck jesus” and they somehow get offended. I thought everyone contained multitudes of contradictions in their brain, but maybe it’s just a few of us thinkers out there. I was shopping for a “fuck yoga” t-shirt today and within a few months I plan to incorporate yoga into my workout schedule. I love yoga, but fuck yoga sometimes too. It seems to me that the regular yogis that have gotten offended need to up their game a little bit, maybe smoke some weed or meditate or whatever you got to do, because you’re acting like I do when I’m bipolar and in need of medication.