love yoga, along with some 15 million other Americans. So when friends invited me to Mumbai for a week, I couldn't wait to explore the true essence of this ancient spiritual practice.

"Forget spiritual — women here are all rushing to yoga to lose weight," I was told by Mumbai psychologist Julia Noakes. "They see young professional Indian women with slender waists and tight butts and give them 'the Bombay Look.' " Translation: A gaze of envy.

Yoga offers many benefits, from mind control to pain relief, but I'd never heard that weight loss was one of them. A huge banner outside of Gold's Gym touted its "Fat Burning Yoga Package." The gym is a California import with franchises all over Southeast Asia. I suspected an American commercialization of India's greatest contribution to self-care.

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