December 29, 2010

Yoga = India? Maybe not so much.

Yoga: a positively un-Indian Experience?

People who visit the U.S. from other countries (or who meet Americans while we’re traveling abroad) are sometimes surprised to learn that we haven’t all been to Disneyland, or Graceland, or attended a professional football game.  They’re surprised that we don’t all own handguns, talk like Texans, or go to church every Sunday.  And they’re dismayed that we aren’t all extroverts.

Similarly, it may be a shock to some of us to learn that not very many people in India do yoga—and that many of the teachers there learn it from American DVDS (!).

Arvind, my current renter/house-mate, is a PhD student from India, and I was surprised to learn he’d never used a neti pot and that he knows few people who have.

In the coming New Year, we might do well to consider that may be what we think we know, isn’t based in reality.

Maybe half of what we “know” is really just a bunch of lazy stereotypes and overly-generalized and highly romanticized hogwash.

Maybe we should get out more, do some stretching and some three-fold, victorious breathing (on and off the mat) … and not fool ourselves about the supposed origins of where such practices came from.

Ultimately, whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is good, and pure, and brings life, well, let’s just do ’em and not come across as some sort of yogic experts.

Namaste, …. er, Cheers, …. nah, who am I fooling?,

Sincerely, (kind of old school and boring, but at least I’m not putting on airs)


aka Raja Daja (oh no I didn’t!)

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