Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hindus Mount “Take Back Yoga” Campaign

There’s a stir going on in the Hindu community over yoga’s ancient roots. It (yoga) belongs to them, they claim, and they hate the way their cherished art is being practiced in the West. So the Hindu American Foundation is mounting a “Take Back Yoga” campaign to raise awareness of yoga’s Hindu origins.
Image byAaron Neifer

Why is it important where yoga originated? Well, without Westerners knowing where yoga came from, most of its spiritual essence is lost. For proof of this, you need only look at the way that most Westerners practice yoga—as exercise.

According to Sheetal Shaw, an official with the Hindu American Foundation:

“Yoga is primarily a moral and spiritual philosophy, a fact she says has been lost as the popularity of physical yoga has boomed in the West. ‘There has been a conscious de-linking between Hinduism and yoga,’ in the United States and elsewhere, she says.” (Source: CNN’s Belief Blog)

Shaw hopes that her organization’s “Take Back Yoga” campaign will not only re-link Hinduism with yoga, but will also put the spiritual back into the practice of yoga.

I hope their campaign works. Practicing yoga in a mindful, spiritual way elevates this already soothing practice into a sort of moving meditation that will help us spiritually transcend our ever-more-stressful lives. Do you think that their “Take Back Yoga” campaign will help to put the spiritual back into yoga?

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