The rat race to standardize yoga
The gloves are off in the clash between US-based Yoga Alliance and India’s Yoga Certification Board. But that’s only half the story.
Roshni P. Nair
19 May 2020

Yogi Chetan Mahesh, birth name Mahesh Chand, has plenty to say about the rot in Rishikesh. When he speaks, with a thick Haryanvi accent, words scurry as if relieved to have found an outlet.

Mahesh is founder-director of the AYM School of Yoga in Tapovan district. If Rishikesh, in the state of Uttarakhand, is the yoga capital of the world, then Tapovan is its town square. It’s home to Chaurasi Kutiya, known to the world as “the Beatles ashram”. Tapovan was never ready for the mountainous change that came after 1968, the year The Beatles, Mia Farrow and a horde of American cultural cognoscenti descended on the tiny mountain village. Even Chaurasi Kutiya would never be the same. Now derelict, but dotted with striking murals, it looks on as Rishikesh is overrun by yogashalas, gurus, tourists and charlatans.

Charlatans are everywhere, but in Rishikesh, Mahesh says, they have an invisible, yet powerful enabler. This enabler has turned yoga into a cottage

Signup to read this story
Get 10 starter credits on Signup which you can use to unlock this story. You will also get access to our TMC starter pack and access to free reads.
Become a TMC subscriber
Context is everything. Only read stories that matter.
What our readers say
Why subscribers love The Morning Context
High quality, independent journalism is rare to find. The Morning Context set really high standards that make me wait for each story.
Abhay Pandey, Managing partner, A91 Capital
Well-written and researched long form reads on a wide variety of topics and a team of veteran journalists - all of this makes my subscription worth it.
Anupam Gupta, Investment research consultant
In today's very noisy and cluttered world, I like that the Morning Context goes below the surface of company PR to deliver fact-based stories on Indian business.
Jessie Paul, CEO, Paul Writer
The Morning Context is my daily opportunity to get smarter about one new company/sector. Discerning analysis, unbiased and approachable.
Miten Sampat, Angel investor & former CSO, Times Internet
In today's polarized world, authentic and unbiased facts are in short supply world over. The Morning Context is a refreshing approach towards truthful, well researched, fearless, and high-quality articles on contemporary topics.
N S Parthasarthy, Co-founder, Mindtree
As one of the early subscribers, I've had the opportunity to witness how quickly the team has grown, the variety of angles covered, and the research in every in-depth story and op-ed.
Amarjit Batra, Managing director, Spotify India
In a world full of noise, The Morning Context is the calm that stimulates and energises your mind, with stories focused on fact, truth and dogged reportage.
Nikhil Taneja, Co-founder and CEO, Yuvaa
Although it’s a paid subscription, the kind of detailed research and quality of reportage makes it worth every rupee. It’s strength surely lies in having some of the finest journalists writing for it.
Shiladitya Bora, Producer, distributor and founder at Platoon One Films
Become a TMC member
Sign up now and get free access to our starter collection.