Upset Hindus criticize Yoga Journal’s yoga-comedy-series as mockery of revered discipline

Hindus have strongly criticized prestigious Yoga Journal's new “web yoga-comedy series”, saying it is mockery of the age old and revered system.

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Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a serious mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) united with universal-soul (parmatman), and not something to be spoofed at.

Titled “Ogden: The Inappropriate Yoga Guy”, five episodes of this “yoga-comedy series” have already been developed by Yoga Journal.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that yoga was one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu philosophy. Some sages had described yoga as the silencing of all mental transformations, which lead to the total realization of the Supreme Self. Some had used yoga attempting to gain liberation by removing all sensory barriers. According to Patanjali, author of the basic text, the Yoga Sutra, who codified yoga after being founded by Yajanavalkya, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

Yoga Journal claims on its website that “…magazine remains true to its original mission: give readers insightful articles on yoga, filled with the most current scientific information available, while honoring the 5,000-year-old tradition on which it is based.” When did lampooning became a medium to honor a 5,000-year-old tradition, Rajan Zed asked.

San Francisco (California) based largest-circulation yoga magazine with many international editions, Yoga Journal was born in May 1975 with ten pages and 300 copies and now claims a monthly readership of 1,200,000. Bill Harper is its publisher while Kaitlin Quistgaard is editor-in-chief. Its ancillary businesses include conferences, DVDs-videos, sale of yoga products, books, and website. It is owned by “rapidly growing media company” Active Interest Media based in El Segundo (California) whose president is Efrem Zimbalist III. Los Angeles Times described Yoga Journal as, “The bible of yoga enthusiasts and teachers alike”, while Forbes declared it “The Web's most expansive and impressive Yoga site.”

About 16 million people in USA reportedly practice yoga, making it an over six billion “industry”.

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