Monthly Archives: November 2010

Daddy, is yoga Hindu?

NY Times report on the Hindu American Foundation reclaiming project.

Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: November 27, 2010

Yoga is practiced by about 15 million people in the United States, for reasons almost as numerous — from the physical benefits mapped in brain scans to the less tangible rewards that New Age journals call spiritual centering. Religion, for the most part, has nothing to do with it.

But a group of Indian-Americans has ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism.

The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions.

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Slaughtering your own turkey

Video at the NY Times. Consumers are getting back to the land…

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/11/19/arts/1248069338605/slaughtering-your-own-turkey.html

Return of the Sickest Buddhist

Elephant Journal: Where did the Sutras go?

on Nov 16, 2010

The Oprah-fication of Patanjali: Culturally Homogenizing the Yoga Sutra.

If you’re involved with yoga, sooner or later (depending on what method you’re doing) you’ll encounter the Yoga Sutra (YS).

Written by the mysterious Patanjali way back around 250 B.C.E., this cryptic collection of 195 short statements (“sutras” or aphorisms), is by far the closest thing to a common sacred text that we’ve got in the yoga community today.

On one level, I love this. In a culture where knowledge of what happened two months ago regularly gets thrown in the trash bin of forgotten history, it’s exciting to discover that so many people care about a truly ancient text.

But.

More often than not, I find myself irritated by the way that the YS’s treated by American yogis.

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert. But I think that it’s safe to assume that the YS was not written as a feel-good text for more-or-less-normal 21st century Americans like me.

Which is why it gets my goat when I keep running across smarmy paeans to “how-the-Yoga-Sutra-can-help-you-be-the-best-healthy-and-happy-you!” (Perhaps accompanied by “five easy poses for everlasting bliss” you can do in 15 minutes or less . . . )

OK, I’m being snarky. But consider how articles such as the tellingly entitled “Paths to Happiness” (published in Yoga Journal) seek to assure us that the YS fits oh-so-comfortably into our contemporary culture:

Centuries ago, the great sage Patanjali laid out a kind of map—one that suggests not just asana and meditation but also attitudes and behaviors—to help you chart your own course to contentment.

At first glance, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra . . . may seem esoteric and impenetrable. But the ancient manual is worth a closer look, because it contains essential advice for daily living. ‘Patanjali has offered us guidelines that will allow us to have enhanced emotional and mental well-being and a more fulfilling and meaningful life . . . The Yoga Sutra is specifically designed to lead to greater happiness and spiritual fulfillment for you and everyone around you.’

Um, really? That’s funny, because I thought that the YS was about realizing Samadhi, or “assimilation with pure Being.”

But wait, you may say – what’s the difference? Isn’t Samadhi just another term for “happiness”? Like that blissful feeling I get seeing an amazing sunset or playing with my cute puppy in the garden?

Not to be a party pooper, but . . . really, I don’t think so.

 

read on

A very pagan Christmas

March, May, December?  How we chose the birthday of Jesus and more fun notes on the roots of Christmas.

Watch video at Discovery News

 

New Mysore Blog

Bloggers currently blogging from Mysore, India:

Martina 2011
http://martina2011india.blogspot.com/

Yoga by Emma
http://emmaoneillyoga.blogspot.com

Jill Manning
http://jillmanning.blogspot.com

Dorion Davis
http://www.doriondavis.com

Jen Goes to India
http://jengoestoindia.blogspot.com
David Robson:  Toronto Body Mind
http://torontobodymind.ca

Miss Stan
http://www.missstan.com

The Unruly Ascetic
http://unrulyascetic.blogspot.com

Kino MacGregor
http://kinoyoga.com

Puro Yoga
http://www.puroyoga.no

Open Your Feet
http://openyourfeet.tumblr.com
http://kameezyrider.com/

We Blog the World
http://www.weblogtheworld.com/countries/eastern-asia

Inside Owl
http://www.insideowl.com

David Garrigues
http://ashtangadavidgarrigues.blogspot.com
http://davidgarrigues.com/blog/

Jenny in India
http://jennyinindia.wordpress.com

Archives
My Yoga Journey
http://deniseyogajourney.blogspot.com

Realizing Mysore
http://realizingmysore.blogspot.com/

Ashtanga Journal
http://ashtangajournal.blogspot.com/

India Outside my Window
http://www.indiaoutsidemywindow.com

Bite Size Yoga
http://www.bitesizeyoga.com

Unfold Your Own Myth

http://angeliqueyoga.blogspot.com/

LI Ash Goes to Mysore
http://liashgoestomysore.wordpress.com

Skippetty Street
http://skippettystreet.blogspot.com

Earth Yogi
http://earthyogi.blogspot.com

Peace Love Yoga
http://peaceloveyoga.blogspot.com

From the Heart of Me
http://fromtheheartofme.blogspot.com

Tanja Bungardt
http://www.tanjabungardt.com

Lou Lou Loves Books

http://louloulovesbooks.blogspot.com/

Cranky Goes to Mysore
http://crankygoestomysore.blogspot.com

Sabblogtical
http://sabblogtical.blogspot.com

Scale of the Universe

Click the flick to visit the interactive mind-blower…