Yoga is cool and trendy in India, too

Judging by a quick look, Daily Bhaskar is not exactly the New York Times of India. Not even the NY Post.

But it does have coverage of all the major stories that have been happening in the past month, and which were all over the various papers we saw on our yatra travel. So it isn’t TMZ, either.

Its take on yoga’s popularity is all too familiar — plus there’s a Mysore reference.

Bottom line: Yoga may be converging into one and the same thing in the West and in India. We saw swamis with cell phones. Perhaps sadhus are next. Check it out:

Yoga today is not just about getting that perfect shape, but it is more of a fashion symbol nowadays. Most of today’s Bollywood divas like Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu, Silpa Shetty, etc, and hunks like Saif Ali Khan and others have switched to yoga over treadmills and sweaty workout regimes because they believe that yoga has it all to add to their oomph and glamour factor.

The trend of yoga is not just popular in India, but abroad as well. In recent years, yoga has also become popular in the west, inspiring increasing numbers of people to come and study yoga in India in traditional setting. In Manhattan, yoga studios are a dime a dozen. And since it is fashionable to do yoga, many Hollywood stars too practice it.

Sounds like it is straight out of any celeb mag in the U.S., right? Yoga’s “evolved” from just being about getting that perfect butt. For those who want to spin off into a cultural critique vortex, there’s a lot there to think about involving cultural exchange and influence; the role of information in our development; and what’s valued or seen as status.

But I’ll just note the piece lists “the most reputed Yoga schools providing good Yoga teacher training programmes in India.” They include:

1. Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai

Following Patanjali’s philosophy, the center preaches the importance of yoga as a complete science, which treats both, your body and mind through relaxing exercises and meditations. This center in Chennai is a popular destination among tourists looking for a comfortable and relaxed vacation, learning old Indian art forms.

2. Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune

This popular institute also known as RIMPYI, is the core of Iyengar Yoga, introduced by B.K.S.Iyengar. The center in Maharashtra, teaches the asanas of yoga and also the spiritual values of the same. Various students come here to practice the art on a regular basis, while tourists are also welcomed so that the form can be promoted, and thereby providing you a unique experience.

5. Ashtanga Yoga School, Mysore

Known as Power Yoga, a modern form of classical Indian Yoga, the Ashtanga yoga has been popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois, and the center for the art is located in Mysore, Karnataka. Various asanas and importance of spiritual enlightenment is taught here, while tourists can have a leisure time learning the asanas.

“A leisure time learning the asanas?” I can only hope Sharath reads that and doubles down on the folks who are there. Sounds like too many lazy people, right? (I kid.)

More seriously, the list seems to include all legit places; my quibble would be that I probably could have come up with the 10 it mentions from half a world away — I would have liked to see a hidden gem included.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

One thought on “Yoga is cool and trendy in India, too”

  1. I think you might have an easier time wrapping your head around The Matrix or 12 Monkeys than figuring out the flow chart of influence and cultural appropriation on this one.

    When Srila Prabhupada first took his western disciples back to India he referred to them as his “white elephants.” He hoped that the Indians would see Americans, and given their admiration for all things western, would begin to once again return to their traditions. It seems we might still be able to tell the same story.

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