Pardon us, is yoga becoming a bit of a scam?

Yoga has given India a stunning international shimmer. The ethos, values and practices of a long ago past, of a far away country, seem to have been directly, successfully embedded in the minds and bodies of millions in a manner in which even IT and Bollywood—put together—haven’t, can’t. There isn’t a city without its local yoga guru dispensing his/her wisdom. Cities like Mysore and Poona resemble mini Olympics Games villages every day of the year.

The biggest magnets, of course, are B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois, but there are dozens more gurus, aspiring and perspiring, straining every sinew to keep the turnstiles swinging. But is yoga as a cottage industry, if not here elsewhere, in danger of being commodified and reduced to a pale shadow of its original intent noble and purpose?

Yoga mat, yoga mat-carrier, yoga-speak, hot yoga, yoga tapes, yoga books… a kind of supermarket yoga that is just another word for burning fat? The Bikram Choudhury intellectual property rights scandal in the United States has been much documented. Baba Ramdev‘s USP has become rowasana, in which he wriggles out of a controversy a day.

Now, on Slate, Ron Rosenbaum twists the knife further.

“[What] once was—and still can be—pure and purifying has been larded with mystical schlock. Once a counterweight to our sweaty striving for ego gratification, yoga has become an unctuous adjunct to it.”

Read the full article here: The hostile new age takeover of yoga


How can yoga be prevented from being completely overrun by the marauders? Should it?