While cruising through the online NY Times, I spotted Paul Vitello’s Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul. Not only was it well written, but it was absolutely disturbing. In no way could I do this story justice, so I am going do drop some key points and encourage you to check out the full story. So we all now that yoga is a big deal and an even bigger business. In the United States there are over 15 million yogis and the revenue brought in from them chimes in annually at about 6 billion. Yoga has many different branches and many different spiritual values, but one group of Indian-Americans are not fans of it’s diverse popularity.
“Take Back Yoga” is the campaign founded by Hindu American Foundation, and their primary mission is not to convert all yogis into Hindus, but to bring what they believe are the original roots of yoga to the forefront of the practice. There have been many debates from both sides of the fence, those who believe yoga was founded in Hindu traditions, and those who believe it stems back further then the religion.
The best part of the story for me was a quote from the Hindu American Foundation’s co-founder stating “In a way, our issue is that yoga has thrived, but Hinudism has lost control of the brand.” Naturally this quote has totally sparked adversity from yogis of all faiths. Yoga has so many interpretations and meanings that are personal to each of us, so how can anyone call it a “brand”? To get the full gist of the story and to read some of Dr. Deepak Chopra’s commentaries on the issue check it out here.
Let us know what you think of the Yoga “Brand” in the comments section below.