Letter to the Editor | Practice yoga with cultural appreciation

Recently, an article was written on “The Practice of Yoga Raises Questions of Cultural Appropriation”. Personally, I invite people to practice yoga and try it because it has many physical, mental and emotional benefits. However, I also urge people to understand the spiritual and religious roots of yoga.

A key aspect that was omitted from the article was how yoga originated in India and specifically Hinduism. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit “yug”, which means to unite. In this context, to unite and control the body, the senses and the mind. Yoga is not just a physical or mental exercise, it is a way of life, a way of being.

In Hinduism, yoga is a “darshana”, or one of the main schools of thought or philosophy. A common Sanskrit text solidifying the nature of yoga is known as “Yoga Sutras” by Sage Patanjali published somewhere between 200 BCE – 200 CE

Over the years, yoga has transformed according to regional and religious practices and beliefs. This is why yoga is all over the world. Many traditions have key aspects related to some form, aspect or tradition of yoga and have a lot of meaning.

It is amazing how many people have been positively affected by yoga. I encourage people to try at least some physical yoga exercises for fun, too. However, I also urge people to learn the foundations and history of the tradition as they practice to gain a greater perspective on it. It is important to note that many traditions have Yoga as a key spiritual or religious practice, including Hinduism. whose yoga has fundamental values ​​and practices.

The more we learn about each other’s cultures and traditions, the more tolerance and respect we can have for one another. It gives us a unique appreciation for the various contributions of traditions around the world.

Mauktik is a senior in business.

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