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435Yoga Day USA and the Distortion of Yoga in America

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Jan 24, 2006
      Press release:


      To understand the distortion of Yoga in America one need look no
      further than Yoga Day USA scheduled for January 28, 2006.

      USA (PRWEB) January 24, 2006 -- For thousands of years Yoga referred
      to the realization through direct experience of the preexisting union
      between Atman and Brahman, Jivatman and Paramatman, and Shiva and
      Shakti, or the realization of Purusha standing alone as separate from
      Prakriti. If you are not familiar with these or other such terms, and
      yet think you are familiar with Yoga, it may be because you have
      heard little of the more authentic meanings, goals and practices of
      Yoga, while also having heard little of the true roots of Yoga.

      To see the distortion of Yoga in America over recent decades, one
      need go no further than Yoga Day USA, which is scheduled for January
      28, 2006. In their website (YogaDayUSA.org) and press release the
      promoters state that the "Top 10 Reasons to Try Yoga" or "to `Make
      the Connection'" with Yoga are stress relief, pain relief, better
      breathing, flexibility, increased strength, weight management,
      improved circulation, cardiovascular conditioning, better body
      alignment, and focus on the present for health reasons. The authentic
      reasons for Yoga seem to be not even worthy of mention in their Top
      10 Reasons for Yoga.

      Yoga Alliance, the sponsor of Yoga Day describes itself on the
      YogaDayUSA.org website as "the leader in setting educational
      standards for yoga schools and teachers." However, while they claim
      this authority, they do not see fit to acknowledge or include in
      their Yoga Day promotions the fact that the roots of Yoga come from
      the ancient tradition of Sanatana Dharma, out of which has grown
      Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and other traditions.
      Interestingly, while the Yoga Day promotions do not acknowledge the
      root of Yoga, many religious leaders in America who are opposed to
      Yoga for religious reasons are very quick to point out the authentic
      roots of Yoga, effectively reversing the roles of promoters and

      To counterbalance the recent distortion of Yoga in America, there is
      a slowly increasing presence of scholars, teachers, religious
      leaders, teaching institutions and organizations that are speaking
      out about the true nature of Yoga and its goals. Individual seekers
      and media who are interested in knowing more about authentic Yoga can
      easily find these organizations and their spokespeople.