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bp789
09 October 2010, 01:09 PM
http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/food_health/article155386.ece

What are your opinions on this? Do you think it seems a little odd for a Saudi female to go all the way to India to learn yoga?

TatTvamAsi
09 October 2010, 04:08 PM
this is something I am completely against as it is theft of Indian/Hindu culture. westerners have been doing this for decades in America and Europe by stealing from Hinduism and other Indian traditions and misappropriating parts of philosophy that originated in India.

For example, "Pilates" is a ridiculous mishmash of yoga and "cardio" exercise and renamed as such by a person who studied yoga in India and then repackaged it for the western audience. The goal was to strip it of all its Indian roots and yogic tradition and is now very popular in the west.

Why, even "regular" yogasana has been misappropriated in many ways outside of India. All of whom are trying to deny its Hindu roots and traditions; which is silly because Yoga is a fundamental school of philosophy in Hinduism!

This saudi female is trying to do the same by saying, "Yoga is a pre-Buddhist practice in India" that was done for over 5000 years. My only question is, if it is pre-Buddhist, which it is, then what religion existed then? Only Hinduism! She conveniently leaves that out!

I am willing to bet we will soon see some garbage "muslim" yoga come up around the middle east. They will, like their idiotic christian brethren in the west, do their best to deny its Hindu and even Indian roots and call it some "gift from allah" or some nonsense.

I strongly condemn non-Hindus/non-Indians from practicing yoga or any other Indian/Hindu tradition as mlecchas were not allowed to do it before; and for good reason.

Allowing others to practice yoga and learn Hindu/Indian philosophy will end up with cultural misappropriation, theft, and frankly, cultural terrorism. That is what the christians are really good at. Now the muslims are trying it to appear "peaceful", which is obviously a joke.

Sahasranama
09 October 2010, 04:38 PM
I don't see a problem with westerners turning to yoga, even if they only do it for health or peace of mind. There is a difference between yoga therapy and yoga sadhana. Yoga sadhana is Hindu by definition of yoga philosophy which is vedic in origin. Even yoga therapy is based on the Hindu science of Ayurveda, but yoga therapy can help anyone, even deluded people who don't want to admit that they are practicing elements of Hinduism. Those who practice yoga should at least acknowledge Hinduism as the foundation of yoga. They don't absolutely need to convert to Hinduism, because fire burns everyone, even people who don't know the power fire. I do have a problem with people who seem allergic to anything that has to do with Hinduism, call Hinduism superstitious and dogmatic, but still want to practice yoga.

I strongly disagree with TTA on this matter, westerners should not be excluded to study yoga and ayurveda. There is always a risk though that people will distort the teachings of yoga, but as I have said many times before, the appropiation of Indian culture is not only done by people from other races or countries, but also by people with Indian backgrounds, even by people born in orthodox brahmin families. For example Bikram and Deepak Chopra have severely westernized the teachings of yoga for the sake of money. It's absurd to restrict the teachings of yoga to high caste Indians. If there would be any restriction, it should be based on the sincerity of the student, not based on birth or on financial status.

Yoga practicioners should focus their effort on keeping yoga pure and going back to the source of the teachings. I can only applaud this Saudi Arabian teacher that she went to India to study yoga, instead of taking some certification at her own country.

saidevo
10 October 2010, 12:42 AM
namaste.

I agree with TTA's statements:
Allowing others to practice yoga and learn Hindu/Indian philosophy will end up with cultural misappropriation, theft, and frankly, cultural terrorism. That is what the christians are really good at. Now the muslims are trying it to appear "peaceful", which is obviously a joke.
=====

The so-called inculturation followed by the Christian Church is, in the same vein, cultural misappropriation. Such malpractices are effectively countered by the Government of the country, but the present Indian government formed by highly corrupt politicians is far from being a Hindu government, and actually encourages such practices. Fortunately for us Hindus the readers' comments to such articles bring out the truth about the roots, as in this case of orthodox Muslims taking exception to Muslims practising the Yoga of the Hindu religion.

The very nature of the West is that it is never at rest, so whatever yoga practices they indulge in are only for the body and for mental stress release. They never go beyond it into the real meditation on the Self since their religions don't allow it. Had the West taken up the sAdhana of yoga meditation in its traditional form, at least one among the Tom, Dick and Harry would be much advanced in spiritual practice, and one in a thousand TDHs would have become a Self-Realized sage, which we find in much larger numbers in India among the Hindus.

sm78
10 October 2010, 12:59 AM
http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/food_health/article155386.ece

What are your opinions on this? Do you think it seems a little odd for a Saudi female to go all the way to India to learn yoga?

Shouldn't this be banned in saud country? I mean where women are not allowed to drive a car, how can they start teaching heathen things like yoga and stuff? I am confused...but then I couldn't care less about what happens in that most wretched part of sandy land on earth.

Onkara
10 October 2010, 05:28 AM
Namasté
Many of our sentiments are fueled by rajasic and tamasic gunas. In my observation, my mind only needs to touch such negative and hate filled thoughts and the mind is again polluted with similar hurtful sentiments. I observe that it takes much energy to avoid this contamination and retaliation. One bad apple rots the bunch.

Knowing that all is Brahman, the thought which cause division between us is just a product of our mind; tamasic and out of control. We are told that mind-body is prakriti and forms the Lord's lower self, they are His will. It was His will to become many. Blinded by the divide of maya, misery and samsara takes hold. :(

sm78
10 October 2010, 10:07 AM
Namasté
Many of our sentiments are fueled by rajasic and tamasic gunas. In my observation, my mind only needs to touch such negative and hate filled thoughts and the mind is again polluted with similar hurtful sentiments. I observe that it takes much energy to avoid this contamination and retaliation. One bad apple rots the bunch.

Knowing that all is Brahman, the thought which cause division between us is just a product of our mind; tamasic and out of control. We are told that mind-body is prakriti and forms the Lord's lower self, they are His will. It was His will to become many. Blinded by the divide of maya, misery and samsara takes hold. :(

It would have been respectful to post in relevance to the topic (yoga theft) or ignore it (more in line with your philosophy perhaves). But commenting on the mental guna of the posters, which you have no way to know beyond your own paranoia about tamasic guna, is a little unwarranted.

TatTvamAsi
11 October 2010, 05:00 AM
I strongly disagree with TTA on this matter, westerners should not be excluded to study yoga and ayurveda. There is always a risk though that people will distort the teachings of yoga, but as I have said many times before, the appropiation of Indian culture is not only done by people from other races or countries, but also by people with Indian backgrounds, even by people born in orthodox brahmin families. For example Bikram and Deepak Chopra have severely westernized the teachings of yoga for the sake of money. It's absurd to restrict the teachings of yoga to high caste Indians. If there would be any restriction, it should be based on the sincerity of the student, not based on birth or on financial status.

Yoga practicioners should focus their effort on keeping yoga pure and going back to the source of the teachings. I can only applaud this Saudi Arabian teacher that she went to India to study yoga, instead of taking some certification at her own country.

Your statements (in bold) make no sense. How on earth does an Indian "appropriate Indian culture"? Deepak Chopra et al. are aberrations and I completely agree they are doing what they do for money. Yet, Hindus, mostly in India, know that they are complete frauds and are dancing to the tunes of the westerners to make a killing ($$). They are neither "gurus" nor are they spiritually erudite so it is rather silly to use them as examples of misappropriation of Indian culture.

Even if what you say might happen, the likelihood of it occurring at the hands of Indian Hindus are very low especially when compared to yoga "teachers" who are not from the tradition.

It is most apt that all of Hinduism, not just yoga, was restricted to Brahmins and only the most advanced students for thousands of years. We are really at a cultural crossroads now, especially given the fact that the modern Indian youth have willfully ignored Hindu culture thanks to the Indian "secular" system. By pandering to all sorts of fellows, the traditions will be broken, more so than they already are, and what we will end up with is some "pilates" version of Sanatana Dharma where you can offer AbhiSekhaM with wine and do ShRArdhA with spaghetti!

Even if everyone is for being inclusive of outsiders into Sanatana Dharma, they need to go through some hoops in order to gauge their sincerity and integrity; my wager would be 99% of these "converts" would leave in a jiffy once they know self-discipline, tradition, and selflessness are involved.

Sahasranama
11 October 2010, 05:57 AM
What I have written in bold indeed doesn't make any sense, if you believe that the cultural tradition of yoga was meant only for Indians and high caste Indians in particular and cannot be misappropiated as long as it stays in the hand of Indians. But the teachings of yoga were not constricted by birth and caste. The practice of hatha yoga is ativarna. If you would talk about another subject, like the formal study of the vedas and the upanishad, that would be a different matter.

rainycity
12 October 2010, 07:31 AM
most westerners who practice yoga are not interested in the spiritual aspects at all, which they avoid and find distasteful.

Sahasranama
12 October 2010, 08:39 AM
I have to admit though, all though I think that every sincere student should have the opportunity to learn yoga regardless of their race, statistically westerners will more often be insincere than Indians. I do think the practice of yoga, especially therapeutic yoga and ayurveda, should be open to everyone regardless of faith, but people should refrain from discrediting Hinduism for the gift of yoga and ayurveda.

Fifty years ago, in the west, people would be arrested by police if they performed some form of devil worship. Yoga practicioners in the west were often mistaken for devil worshippers. Therefore, they needed to dissasociate yoga from Hindu religion and turn it in a physical cult. The danger of arabian yoga instructors learning yoga is the same dissasociation when they go back to their countries. I don't deny that this danger exists, but I don't think we can forbid any particular group of people to learn yoga. We can only make it clear to them what real yoga is and what yoga is not.

sm78
12 October 2010, 09:38 AM
most westerners who practice yoga are not interested in the spiritual aspects at all, which they avoid and find distasteful.

Paricularly when some of the mega-church pastors in US have come out and said Yoga is anti-christian.

Arjuni
18 October 2010, 11:35 AM
Sm78, your comment came just in time for this: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-pastor-says-yoga-demonic-sparks-row/articleshow/6766178.cms (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-pastor-says-yoga-demonic-sparks-row/articleshow/6766178.cms)

Some folks, like this Saudi teacher, the 'Christian yoga' practitioners mentioned in an earlier post, and many who learn yoga in the West, are indeed not interested in the religious aspects and go quite far to avoid the 'taint' of a different faith upon the practical benefits of yoga practice. The problem is that reducing yoga to 'a series of physical postures' and 'serenity-filled breathing instructions' makes it less meaningful and more easily abandoned. It seems it would be far greater to teach yoga in its full richness and beauty instead of cutting it off at the knees, so to speak. It IS a religious practice, and just like secular labyrinth-walking, universalist drum circles, and Wiccan sweat lodges, to remove or alter the religious origin of a practice is to produce a strange, less significant hybrid.

I write as a Westerner who would have loved to know the totality of yoga in the first place. I took a class years ago in university, having heard of yoga only as a physical workout, and pursued the postures and diet for about a year before giving it up. (The only book I owned was a practical guide which carefully avoided mention of specifically 'Hindu' topics and presented mantras to 'evoke certain energies' without explaining that they were specific to God. I merrily recited Om Namo Narayanaya for 'harmony and balance' and Om Aim Saraswatyai Namah for 'creative energy and wisdom,' with no idea who Vishnu or Saraswati were.) When life became very sad and stressful, I felt rootless, and frustrated with a practice that had started to feel like little more than pretzel aerobics. Had I known of Sanatana Dharma then, I might have considered yoga - as I do now - vital, not to be abandoned under any circumstances. (It also would have given the postures an essential significance; I felt ridiculous doing Simhasana, for example. Had I known about Lord Narasimha, I would have assumed that pose with - but forgive the pun - pride.)

For the many folks who would reject yoga with the religion added in, there are some who are not able to pursue the full fruits of Yoga because they genuinely don't know there's anything more. So it seems that the current commercial teaching of yoga is lukewarm on both sides - on the one hand, fit and supple people who are calmer and in better shape but ignorant of the bigger picture, and on the other hand, spiritually-inclined folks who are wondering why breathing and moving into downward dog isn't producing any feeling more noble than "Owww."

There are many yoga practitioners who are not seeking a faith, and that's fine, but then why not find physical movement and balance within one's own tradition, or with an exercise series that has nothing to do with religion? The Himalayan Academy's guide for Hindu converts mentions that adopting Hindu ideas and practices, while still rooted in another religion, produces a certain 'subconscious conflict' that's not easily resolved; I think there's truth to that. How does the mind of this Saudi practitioner, for example, react - whether consciously or not - to the energies and vibrations of the posture names? Padmasana, Vajrasana, Surya Namaskar, Matsyasana, and many more names and concepts are specific to Sanatana Dharma. What will she say to her Muslim students the first time someone asks why that limb-squishing Garudasana is an 'eagle,' and what's the point of moving like an eagle anyway? I think she's brave to travel worldwide and work so hard to learn a practice that's obviously important to her, but I don't envy her the task of trying to teach yoga in her homeland; it seems like her road ahead is going to be very hard.

prithvi
19 October 2010, 07:08 AM
Hindusim,sikhs,jains are the only religion which does not believe nor they convert people to their religion...even bhuddhism is like that only..but some westerners who accepted bhudhism are doing the same work wat christian missionaries r doing...but its ok as bhuddhism is peace relgion and not fake

These usa pastor is just frustated because their business (what they doing in churches) is getting exposed and therefore many of westerners are moveing towards hinduism as there only they getting peace of mind(as its not any man made relgion like christanity)

“THE MOST DANGEROUS BOOK ON EARTH “(the Bible),

KEEP IT UNDER LOCK AND KEY.”

Keep the Bible out of your children’s reach.

Why did George Bernard Shaw called the Bible the most dangerous book on theEarth !!!? lol

Sahasranama
19 October 2010, 07:49 AM
Sm78, your comment came just in time for this: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-pastor-says-yoga-demonic-sparks-row/articleshow/6766178.cms (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-pastor-says-yoga-demonic-sparks-row/articleshow/6766178.cms)

The Church is critising Hinduism for being such a beautiful religion. Hinduism doesn't convert, but Hinduism is so beautiful that people are drawn towards it naturally.

Indraneela, it's great to see westerners who have moved beyond modern postural yoga and have found what authentic yoga really is. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says amongst thousands of people only one strives to reach the ultimate and of those who strive only a few have realised His nature. Taking an interest in authentic yoga and the vedic tradition, you are definitely one amongst many. A lot of westerners cannot do this.

brahman
20 October 2010, 07:11 AM
Dear Blessed Seekers,

The thread showcases a certain beauty before me, because I could feel the philosophy I believe in, unfolding to realms of diverse beliefs. The beauty of it is beyond the scope of words, and I feel proud. Whether people, whom we segregate on religious and ethnic grounds, have clearly believed or gained a deep understanding or is slowly learning to believe our philosophy, does not confuse me.

The search for the Ultimate has crossed the borders, and the stage is atleast set for the first phase- of learning Yoga.

Isn’t this the moment to commemorate with honor our Rishis, to whom the Vedas were "originally revealed”? They and all our antecedents as typical representatives, over the years, transferred the divine Knowledge to us. I remember them with thanks and pay obeisance.

We still employ these direct experiences as methods of learning. Today, across the world, the philosophy is now happily reviving; so do we need to vehemently disapprove?

The knowledge reached us over many years. It will grow and flourish in leaps and bounds in the many years to come. The authenticity of Sanadhana Dharma is becoming evidently portrayed. In essence, through this concern, our most cherished wealth, the tradition of the Sages, shows an incredible growth each day.

Despite all the seemingly intricate hesitations we have, let us all ask ourselves – Are we systematically trained in the philosophy we believe in? Which is why it is important for us remember that we are tasked with a job to find the answer to our self-realization, far more than just getting instigated at similar topics.

Let us once again salute the rich lineage of divine teachers we had and convince ourselves. :) Love



.

joemy
20 May 2011, 11:25 PM
India is the origin of yoga class (http://evolve-mma.com/index.php/classes/yoga-for-mma.html),I think it is okey, maybe it is more traditional,but it is more effective,just my opinion