Don’t expect any Aum with your International Day of Yoga

I’ll assume you know by now that June 21 will be the first International Day of Yoga.

You may not have heard that the day could be Aum-less.

In what sounds very much like the Encinitas yoga-in-schools issue, concerns about making the worldwide yoga celebration too religious apparently is behind the idea. From the Economic Times (which has since doubled-down on the veracity of the story):

To make yoga an aam lifestyle choice in a country where religious symbolism often attracts high-voltage political controversies, Modi Sarkar is dropping all references to ‘aum’ — the traditional mystical invocation related to Hindu spirituality and yoga practice — in its coming high-powered promotion of this ancient discipline.

Senior officials involved in the government’s extensive preparations to celebrate the June 21 International Yoga Day told ET that the brief is to keep the effort “free of controversy”.

Therefore, there will be no reference to ‘aum’ in the 33-minute Common Yoga Protocol that’s been prepared by the department of AYUSH ( ayurveda, yoga & naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy), as well as all literature and video being prepared for the June 21 celebration.

Even more in line with the Encinitas story — where Surya Namaskara was seen as the offending religious act — that pose might be stripped away from the event, as well.

To balance that news off for you, it does look like thousands of Indian schools could get yoga — and at a familiar time of day for Ashtanga practitioners:

The minister said rules were being framed to ensure that the first period in the schools is dedicated to yoga teaching.

“The state government has decided to set up ‘Yogshalas’ in about 6,500 villages. Rules will be framed to ensure that yoga is taught during the first period in government and private schools,” he said at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the ‘Acharyakulam’ school being set up at Dikadala near Panipat. Vij said Acharyakulam is a residential educational institute that would combine traditional and modern educational system.

So there’s that.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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