Oh so much fuss! Who owns yoga? Who will save yoga? Who will stop yoga demons from taking over the world? Holy Hanuman! Do we even know what we’re talking about anymore? Jeepers. The latest yoga article in The New York Times spotlights the newest stirrings in the “I had yoga first” historical debate. It’s time to Take Yoga Back! Or so proclaims a new campaign launched by the Hindu American Foundation, and organization co-founded by none other than Deepak Chopra’s beef-stigator Dr. Aseem Shukla. Their main mission? Essentially, to remind people (Americans) of yoga’s roots (Hinduism, they say), and promote and/or reclaim ownership to what they believe are India’s gifts to the world.
Frankly, we see no harm in heritage pride (government efforts have already been underway with the TKDL digitizing every single yoga pose ever), and perhaps India’s image in America, and the world, could use some spiffing up. But if their message is of peaceful advocacy and awareness, then this whole “taking back” jazz isn’t exactly a namaste. And from whom? Unless there’s some other motive?
“In a way,” said Dr. Aseem Shukla, the foundation’s co-founder, “our issue is that yoga has thrived, but Hinduism has lost control of the brand.”
It’s true yoga is so wildly popular these days, but are you concerned where it originated and if it has religious roots?
For more commentary on the subject check out Branding Yoga, Branding India: More Commentary on Yoga and Hinduism Connection