yeloson: (Default)
[personal profile] yeloson
http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/takeyogaback

The popularity of yoga continues to skyrocket in the Western world as yoga studios become as prevalent as Starbucks and the likes of Lululemon find continued success in the mass marketing of $108 form enhancing yoga pants. As this $6 billion industry completes one Suryanamaskar (sun salutation) after another, there has been growing concern from the Hindu American Foundation about a conscientious delinking of yoga from its Hindu roots.

From asanas named after Hindu Gods to the shared goal of moksha to the common pluralistic philosophy, the Hindu roots of yoga seem difficult to deny. Yet, more often than not, many Western yoga practitioners are aghast at the very suggestion that the cherished "spiritual practice" of yoga is firmly grounded in Hindu philosophy. In fact, in a letter to Yoga Journal magazine, HAF noted its disappointment at finding countless descriptions of the Upanishads or Gita as "ancient Indian" or "yogic", but rarely "Hindu".

Shortly after being told by Yoga Journal that "Hinduism carries too much baggage," the Foundation formulated its stance on this important issue with the release of its paper Yoga Beyond Asana: Hindu Thought in Practice, quoting extensively from both the legendary yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar as well as his son, Prashant Iyenagar. The stance paper highlights not only the delinking of yoga from its Hindu roots, but also the erroneous idea that yoga is primarily a physical practice based on asana. Yoga covers a wide array of practices, embodied in eight "limbs," which range from ethical and moral guidelines to meditation on the Ultimate Reality. Asana is merely one "limb" which as become the crux of Western yoga practice.

Date: 2010-11-28 07:59 pm (UTC)
the_future_modernes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_future_modernes
Shortly after being told by Yoga Journal that "Hinduism carries too much baggage,"


WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!

Date: 2010-11-28 08:35 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
That is ... kind of not surprising from Yoga Journal, to be honest. I love some of the podcasts and practice articles they've produced, but the magazine itself, my god, it is the epitome of Yoga As Commerce. Lots and lots and lots of slim bendy white people in leotards on beaches selling you stuff.

Ancient Eastern wisdom is a good selling point, but "Hinduism" is far too specific and connected to, you know, actual real-life brown people alive today.

Date: 2010-11-29 02:21 am (UTC)
trinker: I own an almanac. (Default)
From: [personal profile] trinker
I was about to say! I spent 3 1/2 years immersed in white people yoga (my ex was tight with some of the founding members from Kripalu), and ... they went kind of far into the "we're going to rock the ashram and guru thing, and all have yoga names..." (and then the woke the hell up and got over that, thankfully), but Yoga Journal? Aieee. Totally the home of Yoga(tm) and the yogalympic style of bendy white people. And Accessorizing! Because how can you do yoga without All These Things!?

Ahem.

People who don't acknowledge the origins of yoga piss me off. As do the ones who go the other way, into Yoga is a SCAAAARY anti-Christian cuuuuuult!

Date: 2010-11-29 03:14 am (UTC)
colorblue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] colorblue
It's not just Yoga Journal, though? I mean, this is the kind of thing I expect from any and every Western yoga magazine/forum/community. It's not surprising to me anywhere.

Date: 2010-11-29 09:06 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Oh no, absolutely not just Yoga Journal. And I'm aware that in a sense I'm part of it, because hey, white Western person doing yoga. But people could at least acknowledge the source.

This reminds me of the whole flap over the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, and the number of news articles portraying it as "oh noez Indians are trying to copyright yoga and take it away from us". No, Indians are actually trying to stop other people patenting yoga sequences and asanas and profiting off them.

Date: 2010-12-02 04:47 am (UTC)
colorblue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] colorblue
This reminds me of the whole flap over the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, and the number of news articles portraying it as "oh noez Indians are trying to copyright yoga and take it away from us". No, Indians are actually trying to stop other people patenting yoga sequences and asanas and profiting off them.

I did not know of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library. Or that people were trying to patent yoga sequences and asanas. @_@ What next? Will they patent the idea of free service to others?

Date: 2010-11-28 11:00 pm (UTC)
stewardess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stewardess
From an article I read yesterday, I gathered that the movement to take back yoga is asking the yoga-practicing to merely *acknowledge* the historical and spiritual source of what is called yoga in the west. That is apparently asking for too much.

Date: 2010-11-29 10:23 pm (UTC)
stewardess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stewardess
Yeah, an exact quote from a "professional" western yoga instructor was "No one owns yoga!!!"

Date: 2010-11-29 09:12 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
I knoooow. People are reacting as if they've been told that they're not "allowed" to do yoga any more and the Hindu American Foundation Police are coming to shut them down any day now.

Instead, they're just being asked to acknowledge where the practice comes from.

Date: 2010-11-29 05:07 pm (UTC)
dancesontrains: (We be orcing sheep!)
From: [personal profile] dancesontrains
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