© 2014 Uma Inder
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The views on this site are faithful personal perspectives, and not the claims of Umaa.
- Rina, Germany - Academic Facilitator in Decolonial Thought - Federal Foreign Office of Germany And Freiburg University
I met Umaa at Yoga Barn in Ubud/Bali, practising and studying with her all of December 2015, realising very soon that our work has a lot in common in terms of helping individuals engage in processes of their own emancipation and awakening. Or however you would like to call it depending on your school of thought. Umaa's practice has given me the embodied experience of emancipation, empowerment, awakening something most traditions and approaches only manage to do at the cognitive level, if at all.
In addition, I research and work around epistemological questions of knowledge production and power relations, eg. whose knowledge and experiences count as legitimate and why and how this relates to the knowledge holder's credibility and recognition. In this context, Yoga, Tantra and Ayurveda are distinct and valid knowledge systems that serve as reference points for truth claims about this world, the human experience and cause-effect relationships just as Western Science does. None of them is more or less legitimate or illegitimate they are situated next to each other along the continuum of human knowledge systems that have co-evolved and been authorised or discredited over the centuries.
One thing is, however, remarkable and rather unique in this genesis: The way how predominantly Western forces and individuals have and continue to de-legitimise “non-scientific” knowledge systems such as Yoga, Tantra and Ayurveda simply because of their position of power within the global matrix of expertise. Umaa's approach to Yoga, Tantra and Ayurveda can therefore be easily dismissed and invalidated by these forces as it is not considered “scientific” or proper, which is, however, untenable from the scientific discipline of epistemology. It is against this background of epistemic violence that I would like to discredit recent accusations of mystical manipulation and cult building against her. Umaa's way of knowing and seeing is just as valid and sound as any doctor's, counsellor's and therapist's knowledge system that is trying to lead someone back to their own experience and body for the sake of healing and guiding them through difficult times. That is all she has always done. So who is to say what's improper about this?