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Yoga and Health.

Full House
Senior Desi
Member since: Oct 12

Posts: 2377


Is it a Hindu thing? or Is it a 'mongrel' tradition? Is it merely an exercise? Arthur J Pais explores the debate that has America in a knot. No one wants to pay Royalties either.

One of the first things Connecticut-born, Florida-raised Dr Aseem Shukla learned in his very early years from his mother was to do the Surya Namaskar. He did the series of yoga exercises before he went to school; he did it during the vacations or when traveling with his family. It was his introduction to yoga and his interest in it grew as the years passed; it became firmer with the family visits to Gujarat and other Indian states.

Shukla, an associate professor in urologic surgery at the University of Minnesota medical school and co-founder and board member of the Hindu American Foundation, created quite a stir a few months ago when he wrote an article in The Washington Post complaining about the 'theft of yoga.'

Shukla, 41, bemoaned that it had become quite fashionable to present yoga without any reference to Hinduism. Soon, that morphed into the HAF's Take Back Yoga campaign.

The controversy over who can lay claim to yoga continued to grow, drawing in bestselling writers, Christian thinkers, Marxist professors, and reporters from dozens of newspapers and television channels.

An estimated 16 million (1.6 crore) Americans including agnostics and atheists practice yoga, which generates according to the Yoga Journal $5.7 billion annually in class fees, books and video sales, sale of mats and other accessories. There are an estimated 100,000 yoga instructors in the United States, including two men in New York City who offer yoga to taxi drivers.

Arguing by Shukla's side was Sheetal Shah, a New York-based HAF leader who has an MSc in development management from the London School of Economics. She came to America with her parents at age 3 about two decades ago, and learned yoga first watching her father, businessman Dhiru Shah, do difficult stretches at their Atlanta home.

Even Indian gurus and yoga teachers have often offered yoga without acknowledging its Hindu roots, Shukla and Shah complain.

"Yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic natural healing, self-realisation -- they are today's syntax for New Age, Eastern, mystical, even Buddhist, but nary an appreciation of their Hindu origins," Shukla wrote in the Post.

"When I said Hindus must take back yoga and reclaim the intellectual property of their spiritual heritage," he told Rediff-India Abroad, "and when I insisted that Hindus not sell out for the expediency of winning more clients for the yoga studio down the street, I was not talking of any copyright on yoga. I did not expect a huge controversy either."

As a child studying in America, he -- like Shah -- felt that Hinduism was not properly presented in the classrooms or in many textbooks. "It was to many people a religion of the monkey god, of cow worship and many other stereotypes," Shukla said. "Even those who loved yoga had stereotype notions about Hinduism."

The controversy ballooned when New Age guru Deepak Chopra, author of over a dozen bestselling books and a devotee of yoga, asserted that nobody can own yoga.

"The whole point of yoga," wrote Chopra, who was raised a Hindu but who insists he stopped calling himself a Hindu over two decades ago, "is to achieve enlightenment, and that the most revered practitioners, whether known as yogis, swamis or mahatmas, transcend religion In fact, even if yoga were granted a patent or copyright by the United States Patent Office, there is no denying that enlightenment has always been outside the bounds of religion. That's where the spiritual path leads, not into the arms of priests or yoga instructors. Before Hindu Americans complain about hatha yoga (what is regarded as exercise-based postural yoga) being deracinated, they might want to promote the ideas that are the very essence of Indian spirituality, which preceded Shiva, Krishna, cows and castes."


How the west was won..:

Last edited by: Full House on 16-06-16 00:30:05
Post ID: 231778 16-06-16 00:25:36
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Full House
Senior Desi
Member since: Oct 12

Posts: 2377

What a powerful movement.. the world has ever seen. Y O G A...:

What if, with the astronomical growing popularity of yoga, there was one key element, one crucial aspect of the super beneficial discipline, that has been forgotten by most followers today? And that, this one thing that is missing, the original creators of yoga found to be the most important?

Its true. Today, most people practice yoga merely for improving their physical fitness, or for their overall well-being. There is nothing wrong with that, and the modern version of yoga does these things very effectively. But there is also a higher aspect of yoga, which for some has been lost. What is it?....

Please Read On.:


There are other aspects of it that were based upon Endurance, stamina, breath control, controlling of food intake etc., and rest and relaxation and the final release etc., are also important and such aspects are attained by only a few who delve a little deeper and learn to practice will achieve.

It is getting started is what that counts.

Enjoy a new start of a fruitful future.


Post ID: 231786 16-06-16 11:47:34
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Senior Desi
Member since: Jul 04

Posts: 1851
Location: GTA, Ontario

Hello folks,

How everyone is managing their health and fitness.

After 5 years of less care and developing sedentary lifestyle due to telecommuting, the system struck me which I started battling with eating mostly healthy food, adding regular work out and started shedding some weight slowly.

Limiting the sweet binging, replacing with fruit often.

The cowards never started,
The weak died on the way,
Only the strong arrived.

Post ID: 231813 17-06-16 14:21:40
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Junior Desi
Member since: Aug 16

Posts: 3
Location: Montreal

Thanks for sharing these tips here, it was really helpful. I do yoga everyday in the morning. It help me to relax and be calm throughout the day.

Post ID: 232440 16-08-16 03:06:36
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