Julia Roberts Converts to Hinduism, Further Complicates Yoga and Hinduism Debate

Via on Aug 10, 2010

Did Julia Roberts just launch the next biggest trend in Hollywood since Scientology and Kabbalah?

Julia Roberts went to India and all she got was a little ‘Pray’ action for her starring role in a surefire summer blockbuster and a conversion to Hinduism! What? In the same interview for the September Elle magazine where America’s sweetheart eschews botox because she wants her kids to recognize her happy vs mad face, Ms. Roberts reveals that her entire family has embraced the Hindu religion and “chant and pray and celebrate” together at the temple, adding that she is “definitely a practicing Hindu.” News to us! Or is it? We got a clue last year when The Times of India reported that before shooting for Eat, Pray, Love in Delhi, Swami Daram Dev of Ashram Hari Mandir gave Julia’s three kidlets new names after Hindu Gods: twins Hazel and Phinnaeus as Laxmi and Ganesh, Henry as Krishna Balram. He also gave his blessing for the flick.

Are we yogis all destined to be Hindu converts? Let’s discuss.

EPL author Liz Gilbert (Julia’s role) goes to India and spends time meditating in an Ashram (in the Siddha Yoga tradition). Does this mean if you go to India as a person on a spiritual journey, or playing one in a movie, you’ll automatically go Hindu? No. Does this mean you have to buy into the Hindu religion to practice yoga? No. Will this throw a cloud of confusion over the already convoluted ‘yoga and Hinduism’ debate? You betcha! Somebody call Ganesh.

Surely, Hindu devas and devis tend to pop up in yoga class, especially in big poppa John Friend‘s Anusara style. Kali, Shiva, Durga, Vishnu, etc, are leading characters on the yoga stage, and also happen to be Hindu deities. Confusing? You tell us.

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About Alex Myles

Alex Myles is qualified as a Yoga teacher, Reiki Master, Teacher of Tibetan Meditation, Dragon Magic and a Spiritual coach to name just a few. Alex has no intention to teach others on a formal basis for many years to come, instead, she is collecting qualifications along with life’s lessons. One day, when the time is right, Alex will set up a quaint studio, in a quirky crooked building where she will breathe and appreciate the slowness of those days as life is just way too busy right now! Reading and writing has always been one of Alex’s passions. Alex likes to consider herself as a free spirit rather than a commitment-phobe. Trying to live as aligned to a Buddhist lifestyle as is possible in this day and age, she just does not believe in "owning" anything or anyone. Based on the theory that we ‘cannot lose someone that was not ours to lose’ she flails through life finding joy and magic in the most unexpected places. Mother to a 21 year old daughter and three adorable pups, she appreciates that some of the best moments in life are the 6am forest walks watching the dogs run, play and interact with one another and with nature. Connect with her on Facebook and check out her blog, Love and Madness. 

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