There are nearly 4 million people in the U.S. today whose ancestry is from India, with a fascinating diversity of languages, religions and traditions. Most are comparatively recent (post-1965) immigrants, and many are young, highly educated, and often professionally employed. With sizable populations on the East and West Coasts, but also in such cities as Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Detroit and Cleveland, they are an enriching presence nationwide. Many health and wellness practices that are now common in the U.S., such as yoga, meditation, and vegetarian eating, reflect cultural influences of India. And for just plain fun, it's hard to beat the joyful vibes of a Holi or Diwali festival.
For a truly immersive experience, many meditation shrines and yoga centers offer a variety of classes, festivals and retreat opportunities, often focused on health and spiritual practices. The Krishna Temple of Spanish Fork, Utah (pictured above), for example, hosts an annual Holi Festival of Colors, with music, dance, and yoga sessions. Several leading Yoga retreat centers help participants to learn or improve yoga skills, enjoy vegetarian meals, and escape stress, in weekend or week long retreats. Due perhaps to the popularity of yoga and meditation among the wider American public, many center events draw a pleasantly mixed crowd. Other Krishna and Hindu temples, as well as many Indian American associations, also invite the public for many festivals and celebrations.