It’s an inarguable fact: yoga is now deeply embedded in the popular consciousness of the United States. Flip through any magazine and you’re likely to see a famous actor or model extolling the benefits of the practice. Recently, Sports Illustrated ran a story on the popularity of yoga among pro athletes, who use it as a way to achieve physical and mental balance. Statistics for yoga in the United States show that the masses too are equally enthusiastic about adopting the practice, and are making it a part of their daily lives. The numbers are staggering; there was a 29% increase in yoga participation between 2008 and 2012. And with 20 million practitioners in 2012, yoga has finally gone main stream in the United States.
The rise of yoga has been accompanied by its share of controversies. The most prominent among these is the debate about the roots or origin of yoga. From religious groups rallying against teaching yoga in public schools, to savvy business people airbrushing the history of the practice, everyone wants to disseminate their opinion about the practice and where it originates. The most vocal of the groups involved has been the “Take Back Yoga” movement, as reported by the New York Times. The movement aims for the Hindu roots of yoga to be widely acknowledged. Their goal is not for people to become Hindu, but for them to be aware of the complex spiritual system from which yoga originates.
Is yoga a Hindu practice? Can it be practiced by people of other faiths? These are questions that need to be answered.
What if we shared with you a 5-minute video that succinctly explains the origin of yoga and why it should appeal to everyone regardless of their religious background? Here’s a video where Sadhguru explains the origin of yoga and what its practice can achieve for everyone:
Are you ready to feel the benefits of yoga? Then try out our free 12-minute Isha Kriya meditation or the Inner Engineering Online program with Sadhuguru.