yoga

India's Namaste greeting follows social distancing guidelines and has been adopted by world leaders, writes Aparna M Sridhar of the Center for Soft Power.

In anticipation of Ayurveda Day, Aparna Sridhar of Center for Soft Power writes how the Ayurveda system's unique approach to healthcare is a source of India's soft power.

Sonali Singh, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Manipal University Jaipur, reflects on the annual International Day of Yoga and India's soft power. 

February 13, 2018

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Yoga has offered the Indian state unprecedented opportunities for global, media-savvy political performance. In recent years, the nation has made international headlines by creating a national ministry for yoga. It has promoted yoga tourism; staged mass yoga practices and Indian officials have even proposed yoga as a national solution to an astonishing range of social problems, from reducing rape to curing cancer.

In a school hall in Dujiangyan — the home of Taoism — hundreds of young people, from all parts of the country, elbowed for mat space, to soak in from an authentic Indian master, the finer points of Yoga, which has become the new spearhead of India’s soft-power push in China.

The incident was the latest in a string of cultural flashpoints surrounding the centuries-old Indian practice, and has made many a yogi rethink the lines between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation.

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