If you’ve ever taken a trip to India or even flipped through a yoga manual that didn’t have a smiling white girl in skin-tight workout clothes on the front, you probably already know that Gandhi wasn’t doing anything remotely similar to the method of exercise that yoga has become in the United States — as well as much of the rest of the western world. A new video from College Humor gives their interpretation of what it would be like Gandhi landed himself in a U.S. yoga class.
Much of the criticism of yoga’s presence in the U.S. has stemmed from a complaint that it has divorced a spiritual practice from its physical manifestation — asanas, or postures, reported XOJane.
“Yoga actually includes a combination of exercises, which are intended to connect people with the divine. It’s an aspect of Hindu faith with origins that are thousands of years past, and a very lengthy history of practice across Hindu communities in regions like modern-day India… The asana are just one aspect of that practice. Along with the postures come breathwork, meditation, concentration, observances, withdrawal, restraints, and higher levels of meditation. These things are practiced as part of an interconnected system, and for some people, they are very integral to personal expressions of faith.”
Even though it’s hard to imagine Gandhi losing his cool like the actor playing him does in the video, the influential Indian figure was not without his opinions on the matter. Gandhi made at least a few interesting comments about yoga during his life, reported the New York Times.
“The yogi is not one who sits down to practice breathing exercises. He is one who looks upon all with an equal eye, sees other creatures in himself.”