“Taking Back Yoga” or “Yoga in Awareness” ?

via Jaya Goswami, USA published on November 29, 2010

Ref: Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul 
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/nyregion/28yoga.html?_r=1

The article talks about how Yoga is becoming increasingly disassociated with Hinduism. The Hindu American Foundation started a campaign called “Taking Back Yoga” to raise awareness amongst people about the roots of Yoga in Hinduism. Some Hindu’s, like Deepak Chopra, beg to disagree.

I was so fired up when I read this. Fired up because both sides, I think, are approaching the issue in the wrong way. While I think that those that think Yoga isn’t rooted in Hinduism are completely and absolutely wrong, the other side, that is trying to show that in fact it was from Hinduism that the seed of Yoga was born, is going about the awareness of this fact in the wrong way. Why do they call it “Taking Back Yoga”, was Yoga ever lost or stolen that you need to take it back. For those that are trying to sell it, they have only seemingly separated Yoga from its spiritual roots. But Yoga, like so many Hindu practices, is like a drug, in that one small dose for someone who is sincere in the practice will get them to crave more until ultimately revealing it’s real nature at the end of the road (the nature of the spirituality of Yoga). This is why I feel that the campaign should really be “Yoga in Awareness”. Because Yoga is about awareness and this awareness requires that we recognize the principles that Yoga is ultimately an expression of. This principle is that there is no way to separate Yoga from its spiritual root. And so there is no need to take it back, there is only need to remind people that what they are looking at is and always will be Hinduism. No matter how much money you try and make from selling it, you cannot remove the spirituality from yoga (as hidden and as covered up it may be behind the shadows of material wealth)  

But in the end the Hindu American Foundation is still running a noble campaign. It is important to remind people that the Yoga class they are going for every week is more than just an exercise and it is a divine knowledge. I think it is a duty to never give up in raising that awareness. Unfortunately, Hindus are their own worst enemy. The people who are speaking vocally against this campaign are just other Hindus…how ridiculous.

USA

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