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Yoga: The forgotten heritage of the South African Hindu diaspora

I write this on the International Day of Yoga, and so, I am inspired to share.

I’ve been on the journey of self-discovery for a while, or maybe more accurately falling down the rabbit hole, and I have to say that yoga is unarguably one of the most profound philosophies that I have found, related to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, and more importantly, providing a framework to live a life of inspired purpose.

The interesting thing is, that I found it, not by someone from the East, rather from someone from the West, which in a way is great, and for me, rather sad, as yoga is one of the most powerful practices ever to have come out of India and is very much part of the Indian heritage.

I never grew up with yoga, and I suspect, many of us didn’t either. Somewhere along the line, perhaps due to continued colonialist effort of the past to devalue anything related to the East, it was lost.

Yet the original, untainted practice of yoga is still deeply rooted in Indian culture and continues to thrive in some areas.

Admittedly it does irritate me that some have devolved yoga into “beer yoga” & “goat yoga” purely to latch onto the marketability of it all.

Where did we lose it? We will never know for sure.

Perhaps a more contemporary question is, now that it is being rediscovered, is why it is still so slow to be reembraced by the people of the land from where it came from, and almost undoubtedly whose ancestors would have practiced it.

Most of the reasons are related to a lack of understanding of what yoga truly is, and the role it plays in the life of a Hindu, and purveyor of Sanathan Dharma.

I won’t tell you what it is, or not, however I do encourage you to begin the journey of learning and exploration if you truly regard yourself as someone who values Hinduism and Sanathan Dharma.

We are seeing the awareness of yoga rise globally thanks to the efforts of gurus such as Mohanji, and Sadhguru, to name a few. And this could be starting point for you.

Links to their pages can be found here:

From a local perspective there are yoga instructors, who are also trained in the ways of traditional yoga, with myself included.

Wishing you all the best on this International Day of Yoga, and may you find yoga, and yoga find you.

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Amor , fidem, virtus ~ Love, faith, courage
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