Welcoming your thoughts on yoga …

ReadTheSpirit covers religion, spirituality, values and popular culture—so, these days, we’re naturally publishing stories about the growing interest in yoga and Hinduism among millions of American families. If you’re unsure of what we mean by a “growing interest,” just walk into a Target store and look at the displays of yoga clothes and gear—or consider that Nintendo included yoga as a big part of the super-popular Wii fitness system.

In the main pages of ReadTheSpirit, we’re now publishing monthly stories on “Vedanta in America,” exploring the booming interest in Hindu wisdom. But, that growing awareness of India in the U.S. also has sparked a heated debate over whether yoga must be considered a part of Hindu spirituality. Large numbers of Christians enjoy toning mind and body via yoga. Meanwhile, large numbers of yoga promoters welcome that religious cross-over and are eager to disconnect yoga principles from Indian religious traditions for their non-Hindu customers.

Sunday, that yoga debate spilled onto the front page of the New York Times in a story headlined, “Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul.” (To read the Times via that link you may have to fill out a free registration on the Times site.) Want to watch this debate unfold online? One site worth bookmarking is the Hindu American Foundation, which has a special Take Back Yoga page.

Our coverage of Vedanta comes from correspondent Lynne Schreiber. Here are a couple of her recent stories: If you’re just watching the blockbuster film, “Avatar,” in its latest DVD release this week, Lynne explores the roots of “Avatar” themes in Vedanta. Preparing for the year-end holidays, Lynne writes about Vedanta’s attitudes toward food and giving thanks.

Spiritual Wanderer’s Take on Yoga, Wii, Controversy

The Spiritual Wanderer, a.k.a. photojournalist, educator and author Rodney Curtis, writes columns from a relentlessly personal point of view. This year, the Wanderer has been blogging his way through cancer. And, when he returned to a bit of yoga recently—he discovered the controversy, mentioned above, unfolding around him. He even found friends telling him … But, wait. Let Rodney, a.k.a. the Spiritual Wanderer, tell you himself.

We want our international conversation to continue

Conversation is far better than the dangerous shouting matches we’ve been witnessing in our global culture recently. So, please, email us at [email protected] and tell us what you think of our stories—and, please tell a friend to start reading along with you!

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(Originally published at readthespirit.com)

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