Coalition of Hindus of North America

Urge University of Memphis to Stop Promoting Goat Yoga

NOTE - Thank you for all the support. The campaign is now closed. We will keep you updated on the decision made by university of memphis as soon as we find out.

urging University of memphis to stop promoting goat yoga

Yoga is a sacred Hindu philosophy, science, and practice. Yoga is immortal knowledge said to have been given to all of us by Ishvara or Mahadev, the Adiyogi. Hindus also believe that, over 2,000 years ago, Adiyogi gave this knowledge to Sage Patanjali, who then recorded this knowledge in the Yoga Sutras.

As outlined in the Yoga Sutras, yoga is a multi-step process consisting of the Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi in ascending order. Further, there are different types of yoga each of us is familiar with in our day to day lives, such as Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Jnana Yoga. As Hindus, we are well aware of what yoga is, its purpose, and the correct way to practice it, but how many non-Hindus are aware of the same? How many non-Hindus are knowingly or unknowingly disrespecting our sacred yogic system?

Today, we see yoga being appropriated and broken into miniscule pieces. The West has taken the name of yoga out of the practice and used it for financial gain and trendsetting. For instance, rather than devotedly performing Surya Namaskar, people are lazily mimicking Asanas, assigning them names like downward-dog or chair pose. Unfortunately, this is not the furthest dilapidated state of yoga that exists. For commercialization purposes, we also find various  “brands” of yoga such as Hot Yoga, Beer Yoga, and Goat Yoga. 

Who are peddling such brands? This misappropriation and commodification of yoga has propelled a global “yoga market” that is  currently worth over 100 billion dollars!  

In contributing to this industry, the University of Memphis began promoting Goat Yoga last year. They offered Goat Yoga as part of their Weeks of Welcome activities, which sought to welcome students back to campus after summer break. It is both disheartening and shameful to see a place of higher education openly supporting the appropriation and commodification of our sacred religious system. 

As Hindus,  we know this is not what yoga is about. Yoga is not something to be monetized, mimicked, or mocked. Yoga is divine knowledge, a core tenet of our religion, one of the 6 Darshanas (schools of philosophy), as well as an everyday part of our lives. While yoga is a gift to the world from the Hindus for of humanity, it deserves proper respect and acknowledgement of the fact that this practice is essentially rooted in the tradition since time immemorial.

Please join us in fighting against this. 

Urge the University of Memphis to stop promoting Goat Yoga by completing the survey below: