Asian traditions – being transformed by the West?

Why have yoga and meditation been so popular in the west? Do you think their popularity is driven by a immigrant diaspora? Or the needs of a western market?


As a girl in my early twenties, living in Brisbane, Australia, I see a lot of Asian religious traditions being used by predominately young teenage/early twenties women, as a way of creating health and peace in their lives. The art of meditation and yoga are huge businesses within the Western world. Instead of being practiced for their traditional use of connecting with inner spirits or reaching nirvana (as in Buddhism), yoga in particular is marketed as an exercise designed to de-stress oneself and gain flexibility. The question I would like to be asking in this post is if this is harmful or disrespectful to the traditions that use these practices as part of their religious or spiritual lives. Sandhu Bhamra 

I believe the practice of yoga by people in the West is not so much cultural appropriation, but cultural ignorance. Yoga is marketed to younger Western woman as an exotic and ancient health exercise when in reality it is so much more than that. 

References – 

http://sandhubhamra.com/2013/07/18/stop-cultural-appropriation-of-yoga-yoga-is-all-about-hinduism-albeit-without-the-ism/ 

Image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/balintfoeldesi/11752252314/in/photolist-au8tpP-d4c1gU-5BUwZw-4eCfzf-7wD5Nx-8rrNtd-3y8tGE-2PUKij-iUvnaU-h39SUT-cRFDfY-9EVhyB-aht7Wt-6D6g18-43ZzqU-bAkzWr-37ce-KfsHj-6RSYdt-9Naxdm 

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