Relaxation in forest at the Waterfall. Ardha Padmasana pose.
Yoga’s root goes back to the ancient religion and culture of Hinduism all the way back to the antiquity of Indian culture.
Almost every deity of the Hindu pantheon is shown in Yoga poses
Since the time Yoga became popular in the west, the non Hindu religious conservatives and the political left who cannot bring themselves to be pluralistic and tolerant are unable to digit the fact that Yoga is rooted in Hinduism. These groups are trying to deal with their denial in different ways.
The honest bigoted Christians (ironically the evangelicals) are honest about it and acknowledge that Yoga is Hinduism and openly preach and discourage Christians from doing Yoga.
Few other dishonest bigoted Christians have tried to hijack and are trying to digest Yoga by making their own version called Christian Yoga. This is not unlike how they digested the “pagan” Solstice or yule tree and Santa Claus by hijacking them into a Christian Holiday. The sun salutation is now renamed as “son salutation”. Whelp! I guess we have to give them props for being creative?
But the most vile group of people are the illiberal political left I call “The capitalist Hippies”, who out rightly lie for the sake of profit. These are the carpetbaggers of Western “Yogies”. The Yoga Journal is part of this group. For this group, Hinduism means “caste and curry” and so have tried to seperate yoga from Hinduism and make a false history for Yoga. Like writing articles saying Yoga predates Hinduism, like Hinduism even has a specific date of origin. Their motive is to appeal to the larger group of anti Hindu bigots of the world to sell more subscriptions. There was even an article in “Yoga Journal” about how Yoga originated in Germany and how it went to India from Germany. This is as ridiculous as the Aryan Invasion theory”. (e.g. THE “SICK-ULAR” INDOCTRINATION OF INDIAN CHILDREN – PART 1)
The Controversy is discussed here in an Al Jazeera TV.
The question of who “owns” yoga has gained traction in recent years. In the United States, the Hindu America Foundation started a Take Back Yoga campaign. Shripad Yesso Naik, India’s yoga minister, told The Washington Post, “There is little doubt about yoga being an Indian art form. We’re trying to establish to the world that it’s ours.” Shankar stressed the importance of understanding the origins of yoga and its important texts, such as the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. He also worries about “inauthentic” yoga and informed me that the Indian government is considering starting a certification program and standardizing the requirements to be a yoga teacher.
I like this Yoga. 🙂
Yoga, a discipline from India that is so ancient in its roots that you can credit it only to unknown truth-seekers from some glorious past era, has an outer form that has seized our collective imagination: For 30 minutes every day, disconnect from the world, take your body through an array of yoga poses, breathe deeply, keep the mind focused, and presto! You will emerge relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready again to re-engage with the relentless pace of life.
By all accounts, yoga is one of modern civilization’s great movements. In the U.S. alone, more than 20 million people today are pursuing yoga–one of every 10 adults. This yoga revival is in direct response to an increased hunger for physical and mental well-being, and a growing suspicion that there’s more to the pursuit of happiness than the material accoutrements of modern civilization. A panoply of yoga instructors have arrived to offer their own twists to ancient poses. Western inventiveness has flourished in the bountiful soil of yoga; today, some instructors are even offering doga–yoga for your dog.
Yoga’s deeper purpose: Inner transformation.
But Jobs was on a quest for something altogether more powerful than stress-reduction, toning, and fitness. He was seeking the kind of inner transformation that many practitioners sense yoga is inviting them to embark on, but don’t know where it will take them or how to get there.
For this deeper dive, you can turn to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the authoritative and few-surviving ancient texts on yoga. Patanjali teaches that “yoga” means “union”–the dissolving of one’s individual self in the larger ocean of consciousness that pervades the universe–and that to help us achieve this union is yoga’s real purpose. Now you might think: “What is this ‘universal consciousness’ that Patanjali is talking about? And how can I ever get there?”
And that may be why Jobs, in his own quest for higher consciousness, turned to Yogananda.
Some photos from around the world:
Marilyn Monroe Was A Badass Yogi