Madhu Patel

CHICAGO: Multinational home furnishings retailer IKEA will be refreshing its campaign video that trivialized Yoga after protest from a large group of Indian Americans over its recently launched Australia campaign video “IKEA product pose Yoga”, apparently that trivialized yoga.

Cecilia Stenberg, a spokeswoman for the Ingka Group Press Office, in emails to RajanZed President of Universal Society of Hinduism, who spearheaded the protest;wrote…We are truly sorry and apologize if this commercial from IKEA Retail Australia has been perceived as offensive in any way. We assure you that it was not intentional…the video is not promoted on social media and IKEA Retail Australia will not re-activate.

Rajan in his turn thanked IKEA for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which thought this video unnecessarily and unreasonably trivialized the ancient and serious discipline of yoga, which was highly inappropriate.

He said Comparing a yoga-asana with a Martini glass for mercantile greed was quite out-of-line

Yoga is considered union with God, one of the six systems of Hindu philosophy, and mean for transforming consciousness and purification of the Self and attaining liberation

This campaign video of IKEA Australia asked the viewer to “follow Eve as she takes you through product pose yoga by IKEA” where she displayed 15 yoga-asanas associating each with an IKEA product, like “Barbecue tongs”; with a background voice talking about “to quieten the internal fire we have awakened”; ending in Namaste with folded hands. 

IKEA, currently headquartered in Delft (Netherlands) and founded in Sweden in 1943, claims to offer “well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing products made with care for people and the environment”. There are ten IKEA stores in Australia itself.