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'Yoga has nothing to do with religion. It is not Hinduism'

July 17, 2007
Interview: George Joseph in New York | Photographs: Paresh Gandhi

I lost 6 kg after attending two sessions of yoga with Baba Ramdev in New Jersey last week," says Raj Kumar (not his real name).

You hear many such claims from the many hundreds of people who throng to yoga guru Baba Ramdev's camps. People queue up to touch his feet. The result is that the swami has little time for himself.

He was busy in America too, conducting yoga classes in the mornings and evenings that were attended by thousands, including mainstream Americans, seeking personal advice or cures for ailments.

The yogi, based in Haridwar, Uttrakhand, has mesmerised a generation and popularised yoga all across India with his popular television shows. An exclusive interview with rediff.com:

Yoga is an ancient system rooted in Indian culture. But you have made it very popular. Have you added or invented anything new?

Yoga is not a new thing. It was there for thousands of years. I made it more practical. It produced results which can be verified. So, it is not correct to say that I discovered something new. We have evidence of the efficacy of the new method. The system was there. The methods were there. But I modified things like the timing needed for pranayama and other such things. The changed timing had a big effect and it produced greater benefits.

Also see: Baba Ramdev: Yoga does it
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