Debate Rages Over Yoga's Roots

Controversy spreads after Hindu group's claim
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 28, 2010 6:35 AM CST
The origins of yoga have become a matter for intense debate.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An American Hindu group is calling for yoga fans to be more aware of what it says are the practice’s roots in Hinduism—and the suggestion has ignited intense reactions and a debate over yoga’s origins, the New York Times reports. Those weighing in on the matter include a Southern Baptist leader, New Age writer Deepak Chopra, and even the government of India.

“Our issue is that yoga has thrived, but Hinduism has lost control of the brand,” says the co-founder of the Hindu group whose Take Back Yoga movement prompted the furor. But “nobody owns yoga,” argues a yoga instructor. Meanwhile, the head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary says the practice is indeed Hindu and puts Christians’ souls at risk; others argue the campaign needs a fact-check.

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