Cultural Appropriation Of Yoga

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Cultural appropriation has been a controversial topic on social media. Many people consider it as problematic when it typically involves people of a dominant culture exploiting the cultural elements of another without permission (Nittle, 2017). Examples of cultural appropriation include using other cultures ' language, food, music, folklore, medicine or symbols. Yoga is another typical example which is practiced by people without acknowledging its religious root. It has been widely adopted as physical exercise to get fit in the west. As Gregoire (2014) indicates, yoga has become a $27 billion industry with over 20 million practitioners. By treating yoga as a commodity and physical activity, the original meaning of it is diluted and an exclusive image of it is created which can cause harm to Hindu…show more content…
Hindu America Foundation has implemented a solution by launching a “Take Back Yoga” campaign. However, this solution was not effective to address the problem. Hence, an improved solution which sets standards and objectives for teaching and learning yoga is proposed. The appropriation of yoga can cause harm to the Hindu communities when westerners exploit it in a way that erases its roots and creates an exclusive image of it (Johnson & Ahuja, 2016). Despite a thousand-year-old tradition involved in yoga, the west has adopted and changed it according to their own needs. Consequently, yoga is treated as solely a physical practice in the western world. Barkataki (2017) states that the “yoga” which is practiced in the US is not the actual yoga and is only one of its eight limbs - asana. The actual yoga is a combination of Hindu spiritual exercises. Hence, the “yoga”
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