Comparing Harvard and Mysore

Fun little article in The Hindu about Westerners coming to Mysore to practice Ashtanga:

President of the Mysore Yoga Okkoota Ganesh Kumar said there were about 150 to 160 yoga centres in the city and 15 to 20 of them enjoy the patronage of foreigners. “At any given time, there are around 700 to 800 foreigners learning yoga at these institutes. Their number increases during the holiday season in December and January. Around 10,000 foreigners visit the city to learn yoga every year,” he said.

Many yoga students from foreign countries join more than one institute during their stay here. “If they join Pattabhi Jois institute for Ashtanga yoga, they join others for meditation or pranayama,” Dr. Kumar said. Pattabhi Jois’ grandson R. Sharath Jois, who now runs the institute, counts Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, and William J. Dafoe among the well-known Hollywood personalities he has taught.

This influx of yoga enthusiasts has also translated into a boost for the local economy. “There is a lot of demand for accommodation, autorickshaws, and eateries,” he said. Awareness on yoga was slowly increasing in India, he added.

The Harvard reference is from a quotation in the story.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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