Yoga is everywhere these days. It's fair to say it's become well and truly mainstream. In most Western cities yoga studios are as ubiquitous as fast-food joints or liquor stores. 20 million Americans say they practice yoga. So, what exactly is happening here? How can we explain the meteoric rise of yoga?
Lord Hanuman is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu religion and is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. The 'monkey god', is revered by Hindu communities around the world, including a considerable segment of the population on the paradise island of Mauritius.
In my case, it was precisely this difference of Hinduism that appealed to me. My encounters with Hinduism on my travels in the Himalayas, and my later interest in the religion, reminded me that many societies have thought of 'gods' as sharing our world with us rather than living in a world 'above' us.
What would happen if the different faiths began automatically adding 'humanism' to their names, Islamic humanism, Buddhist, Judaic, Hindu, Christian humanism, for example - then explored what each meant. We'd probably end up with a rich dialogue based on a celebration of two great realities: our shared humanity and the richness of our different religious traditions.