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Swami Ramdev: The Next Dr. Phil?

in World News, YD News

Already a major yoga-celebrity in his native India, with a massive following, a hugely popular tv show, and the world’s largest center for yoga and ayurveda, 55-year old guru Swami Ramdev, (who prounouces it “yog” to you novices) is taking his show westward in hopes of expanding his popularity to become an American household name. His claims of curing all man’s diseases (including aids and cancer) have resulted in some heavy criticism, but that didn’t stop the Indian Health Ministry from hiring him to consult on the matter of public health and to be the sole figure in leading the revival of yoga.

Now Ramdev is prepared to take his prescription of idealogy stateside, where yoga has been gaining speed, especially in the past few years, as a veritable fitness trend (we still can’t find Wii Fit anywhere). Plans are well underway to build a mecca right here in America’s yoga capital – the barbecue-laden, race-car obsessed, southern town of Rosenberg, TX, just outside of Houston. Of the $4.5 million estimated cost, $2 million is claimed to have been raised in the first 2 hours of a fundraising event (actual contributers have not been revealed). Upon completion, ambitiously slated for some time in 2009, the center is rumored to boast a clinic to treat chronic ailments, housing for active seniors, a retreat center and a vedic Gurukul school for young children and a teaching university.

But is America ready for the Yog?

In theory this all sounds fantastic - the image of Americans great and small putting down their cheeseburgers and embracing yoga with open arms, so diligent in practice that they stop-drop-and-yoga together right there in the streets almost has us wanting to wash this guy’s feet (ok we’re being facetious). But with respect to his darndest efforts we can’t help feeling uneasy and frankly creeped out by his preachy approach. Evangelists, and extremists, of any sort are basically bad news. Will this guy end up being the pusherman and threaten the good thing yoga has going for itself right now in the US? Should we just brace ourselves now the backlash of the “yoga cult”? Or will he be America’s next top self-help guru given the coveted Oprah stamp of approval? Too soon to tell. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye out for the Swami Ramdev channel coming soon to a cable station near you.

Click here for a slideshow of Ramdev’s recent tour stop in Houston July 16-20 where he made the big announcement.

Earlier… Dawn of the Yoga Televangelist

4 comments… add one

  • balwinder yadav

    swami ram dev ji your the great indian i like u

  • SWAMI RAM DEV JI PIU GRANDE MAESTRO DA YOGA IN MONDO

  • bhawani Gupta

    Yoga can help all humanity in all aspects of life. No one should be scared of yoga and its highest values. We have been chasing the peace and harmoney all around blindly for unlimitted amount of time.

    Just give a try to Yog, be healthy and spread the message of service and sacrifice. Don’t waste your time in discussion or making Yoga a business. The great Yogis who devloped this art never claimed their name. So no one should file patent on Yoga. This is devine art to help humanity.

    God bless the world
    Bless unlimmitted universes

  • RCCA

    How people forget. Vivekananda brought yoga to the US about 80 years ago, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi made meditation popular here in the 70′s when no one in India wanted to meditate, and there are yoga centers everywhere. IOW, meditation and yoga had to be accepted and popularized in the West before India was willing to embrace it again. Full circle. Now it seems Ramdev wants to collect some profits in the US. No Problem.

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