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.

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 …


Roshni P. Nair

Roshni is a features writer and former editor of The Morning Context's Chaos team. Her career spans The Ken, Reuters, the Hindustan Times and DNA. She is a recipient of the UNFPA Laadli award and was shortlisted for the RedInk Awards 2016 for her story on Mumbai’s leprosy colonies. Her far-flung ideas would sometimes drive our editor-in-chief Ashish up the wall, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way (even if he didn’t admit it).