Does Yoga Need to Be "Taken Back?"

The debate over who owns yoga rages on. People are still buzzing about the prominent cover story of last week's Sunday New York Times, which featured the article Hindu Group Stirs Debate Over Yoga's Soul,  which introduces the Hindu American Foundation, a...
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The debate over who owns yoga rages on. People are still buzzing about the prominent cover story of last week's Sunday New York Times, which featured the article Hindu Group Stirs Debate Over Yoga's Soul,  which introduces the Hindu American Foundation, a...

The debate over who owns yoga rages on.

People are still buzzing about the prominent cover story of last week's Sunday New York Times, which featured the article Hindu Group Stirs Debate Over Yoga's Soul,  which introduces the Hindu American Foundation, a group that is trying to get Westerners to understand -- and give homage to -- the link between yoga and Hinduism via a campaign called "Take Back Yoga." The campaign is controversial because some people, Deepak Chopra included, believe that yoga's roots go back to the third millenium -- way before Hinduism. 

"In a way," said Dr. Aseem Shukla, the foundation's co-founder, "our issue is that yoga has thrived, but Hinduism has lost control of the brand."

Ouch.

We want to know: Are articles like this just creating division, or is this a useful debate worth having? Is it really important to understand where yoga came from, or is it just important that it's helping people improve their lives today?