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Links 1 through 6 of 6 by Latoya Peterson tagged yoga

"The campaign, labeled "Take Back Yoga," does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga's debt to the faith's ancient traditions. 

"Organizers of the Take Back Yoga effort point out that the philosophy of yoga was first described in Hinduism's seminal texts and remains at the core of Hindu teaching. Yet, because the religion has been stereotyped in the West as a polytheistic faith of 'castes, cows and curry,' they say, most Americans prefer to see yoga as the legacy of a more timeless, spiritual 'Indian wisdom.'"

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"In America, yoga as a form of fitness remains a predominately White and elitist practice for individuals with disposable incomes and trim bodies. YogaCity NYC, an online resource for the New York City yoga community, recently published a 'Minority Report' that reveals the sometimes blatant discrimination and inadvertent ostracization experienced by many minority yoga instructors and potential yoga attendees."

"Often times, the interest in joining a yoga class is there, but the means are not. Many people are simply unaware that there are donation-based and inexpensive classes. And even when the means and opportunities are available, some still feel like they don’t belong there. Latham Thomas, founder of Tender Shoots, noted that some of the pregnant teens she works with are intimidated about taking yoga classes at a large studio because their mats aren’t trendy. 'I think it’s our responsibility to make yoga accessible to all backgrounds,' Latham added."

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A video from Playboy featuring Sara Jean Underwood, a former Playmate of the Year, performing yoga poses, has angered Hindu elders, in what they see as the latest in a string of attempts to commercialise an ancient and spiritual practice.

“Hindus are upset over what is the misuse of the age-old and revered system of yoga by Playboy for mercantile greed, and we are urging the organisation to withdraw all its yoga-related products,” said Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism.

The criticism is the latest salvo to be fired in what some dubbed the yoga wars, a series of disputes over the alleged hijacking of yoga for profit.

The yoga industry is estimated to be worth $6 billion a year in the US alone, where recently-invented variations include yoga for pets and hot nude yoga.

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Even as yoga has become a mainstream form of exercise and stress relief in the United States, the question of whether Christians should practice it is making the rounds once again, raising a stir among some Christians and yoga practitioners alike.

"Here we go again with fear-based, black-and-white thinking," said Jennifer Norling, of Seattle, a 42-year-old mainline Protestant who has been practicing yoga for many years. "It's not fair to say yoga is demonic. In fact, I find it insulting. There are many ways to grow spiritually."

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"ZEN is expensive. The flattering Groove pants, Lululemon’s answer to Spanx, may set Luluheads, the devoted followers of the yoga-apparel brand, back $108. Manduka yoga mats, favored for their slip resistance and thickness, can reach $100 for a limited-edition version. Drop-in classes at yoga studios in New York are edging beyond $20 a session, which quickly adds up, and the high-end Pure Yoga, a chain with two outposts in Manhattan, requires a $40 initiation fee, and costs $125 to $185 a month."

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"Why is yoga severed in America's collective consciousness from Hinduism? Yoga, meditation, ayurvedic natural healing, self-realization--they are today's syntax for New Age, Eastern, mystical, even Buddhist, but nary an appreciation of their Hindu origins. It is not surprising, then, that Hindu schoolchildren complain that Hinduism is conflated only with caste, cows, exoticism and polytheism--the salutary contributions and philosophical underpinnings lost and ignored. The severance of yoga from Hinduism disenfranchises millions of Hindu Americans from their spiritual heritage and a legacy in which they can take pride."

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