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Yoga's Hindu Roots

The article which was e-mailed more than the WikiLeaks article or Thomas Friedman’s column on the The New York Times website yesterday was titled Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul. Over 15 million Americans practice yoga and it is a 6 billion dollar industry. What is taught mostly is Hatha Yoga, but without the “baggage of Hinduism“. The Times article describes the activism of second generation of Hindu-Americans and what it has achieved.

The HAF website has more information on the Take Yoga Back campaign

A piece in the LA Times, Bending yoga to fit their worship needs, quoting yet another yoga instructor denying any and all religious roots lead not only to a Letter to the Editor, but also to the publication of The Theft of Yoga, the beginning of what eventually became know as The Great Yoga Debate: Shukla vs Chopra on the Newsweek/Washington Post On Faith site.  As HAF’s Dr. Aseem Shukla proudly brought to light yoga’s Hindu roots, Dr. Deepak Chopra penned his disagreement.  Shukla’s reply, Dr. Chopra – Honor Thy Heritage, was met with continued resistance from Chopra

Even months after the initial launch of this campaign, the issue remains very much alive.  On September 23, David Waters, the former editor of On Faith, quotes heavily from HAF’s stance paper in his piece “Should Christians practice yoga? Shouldn’t everyone?” And on October 3, Ms. Shukla once again voiced HAF’s stance in the “yoga debate” on air in a segment on Common Threads (click here to listen to Part 1 of the recorded segment and click here to listen to Part 2).

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