Past Event

Café Society: Happy New Yoga Year!

For many Americans, exercise made our list of resolutions for 2007. If you are one of them, chances are you are considering yoga as an avenue to fitness. As more studies promote the benefits of yoga including stress relief, a better sex life, and as a supplemental cancer treatment, more Americans are trying it.As yoga grows in popularity, it is also becoming Americanized.There are a number of hybrid yoga practices springing up like Disco Yoga, Hip-Hop Yoga, Nude Yoga, Aqua Yoga, Doga (yoga with your dog).This appropriation of an ancient Eastern practice is both embraced and disputed.

A little over a year ago the Indian government began creating an exhaustive database of yoga postures after years of watching westerners plagiarize its traditional practice and patent its yoga poses.This commercialization has grown as entrepreneurs package yoga with attractive names, complete with mats, shoes, and guru gear.Do Western capitalists have the right to pursue a financial opportunity in this field? Should a country or culture be granted ownership over this ancient knowledge which is fast evolving for the 21st century American lifestyle?

Many have chastised this new industry for ignoring crucial spiritual, cultural, and intellectual components of this ancient wisdom. Has the practice become completely adulterated as it is altered to appeal to the majority of Americans?Is the evolution of the practice innovation or destruction?

Some religious leaders in the U.S. preach caution as they see how intimately entangled yoga is with non-Western doctrines.Less than a century ago, people were subject to investigation and were considered anti-American heathens if they were discovered to belong to a yoga “cult.”Does practicing yoga present a moral conflict with Christian religious values?Why is it that our country has become so much more accepting of this practice?

Join us this week at Café Society to explore the de/evolution of yoga in U.S. culture.

This Week’s Articles:

Fear of Yoga

X-Treme Karma

Pune’s gurus get into the act to curb West’s yoga piracy

Should Christians Do Yoga?

Christian Yoga

For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.