India now has a Minister of Yoga — and he wants India’s cultural bliss back

By Annie Gowen

New Delhi: Shripad Yesso Naik, India’s new Yoga Minister, dreams of a day when sun salutations and downward-facing dog pose will be as popular in their homeland as they are around the world.

Yes, India now has a minister of yoga — and he and his government want their cultural bliss back.

Indian yogic tradition appears in Hindu texts written thousands of years ago. But the discipline bears scant resemblance to the popular exercise regime that has become a multibillion-dollar industry in the West, home of $US90 ($107) Lululemon stretch pants and Mummy and Me fitness classes.

In recent weeks, Indian officials have begun efforts to reclaim yoga for the home team, making plans for a broad expansion of the wellness practice into all facets of civic life — including more than 600,000 schools, and thousands of hospitals and police training centres. More info

Ilustration photo: Indian students of Delhi Public School perform yoga during a mass session in Hyderabad. Photo

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