Indian-American author talks yoga’s original concepts at Lemont temple

Posted: June 9, 2012 at 12:14 am


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Predicting a yoga rush in the Chicago area, Laura Jane Mellencamp moved to Naperville from Los Angeles in 1995.

I knew with the baby boomers aging and yoga shifting from a California thing to an America thing, moving to the heartland would be interesting, said Mellencamp, a yoga therapist and founder of a classical yoga studio in Downers Grove.

And she was right.

According to a poll in Yoga Journal, a popular magazine for yoga practitioners, there were 6 million yoga practitioners in the U.S. in 1994. By 2006, that number had increased to more than 16 million, according to the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Mellencamps classical yoga form was one of the topics of discussion in Lemont Sunday at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago.

There, Rajiv Malhotra, author of Being Different, an account of Indias spiritual traditions, discussed yoga, his book, and answered questions.

Malhotra spoke to those in attendance about the popularization of yoga in America, and how American culture has consumed only parts of classical yoga.

This just makes it easier for Indian traditions to be used in a cookie-cutter fashion, he said. But the reality is ... concepts like yoga have lost their essence through translation and simplification.

Malhotra explained that even sanskrit words like om and yoga are incorrectly translated to make them easier to understand.

Its a thought Mellencamp echoed. She said she is concerned that the yoga she knows is not whats being taught anymore.

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Indian-American author talks yoga’s original concepts at Lemont temple

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