Is India un-yoga? What? Everyone knows yoga came from India, right? Though it seems most of what we know of the practice today has come from Western influence, even in yoga’s motherland. Is this true? Don’t take our word for it.
NPR has a story from Sandip Roy, an India-born American immigrant who’s just learning his downward facing dog, oh and that Indians typically have looser hips better for squatting, or so his yoga teacher explained to him in class. Indians don’t do yoga, he says.
We’ve been hemming and hawing over its historical origins, ties to religion and Hinduism, and probably will be, til the holy cows come home. India has been on a mission to document their heritage, including yoga, in the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, and now the Hindu American Foundation wants to “take back yoga” to reclaim its roots, which are deeply planted in India of course, but what of its people?
“We saw in large cities like Mumbai, power yoga studios cropping up, because Madonna does yoga,” says [Enlighten Up! director Kate] Churchill. “It has nothing to do with India. Whereas if you go to a power yoga studio in the U.S., they will say it’s a 5,000-year-old tradition.”
Are Indians catching on to what the West has adopted as their own?
I hear they come to your homes now in India to teach you yoga. Private lessons. And it’s the real thing. They learned it from American DVDs.
(fit blonde celebriyogi photo for effect only)