Friday, September 21, 2018

Yoga in modern times

Posted On : June 20,2015

Yoga is a cultural heritage of India. The origins can be traced to the Indus valley civilisation.

Approximately in around 250 BC, Mahrishi Patanjali wrote the 195 
aphorism on Yoga.

This was a meticulously written document, which explained Yoga in a very scientific manner. Later, we find literature which elaborated on various aspects which were written in the Patanjali Yoga Sutra.

One of the most essential feature of this text was, it laid down the foundation of Yoga as Fundamental dos and don’ts for harmony ( Yama & Niyam), Physical wellbeing ( Asanas)  mental wellbeing (Pranayama) ability to remain unaffected (pratyahar) and then concentration, meditation and complete harmony (dharna + dhyan + samadhi).

Over a period of time, there has been a lot of emphasis on the physical wellbeing part of Yoga. This is because, this is the first thing which the human being can identify as good happening to him. Therefore, the contemporary trend of Yoga has been more Asana oriented. However, many of these practitioners realise at some time that there is more to Yoga than Asana and they turn towards the classical Yoga. The classical Yoga is holistic. One cannot forget the basic fundamental aspects of Yama and Niyam, they are the very foundation of one’s personality. 

Interestingly, the younger generation also realises today, in times of chronic stress and pressure, which they need to work on their mind. And interestingly there is a shift from the physical to mind in present times, as compared to recent past. We see more of youngsters coming to Kaivalyadhama to learn and experience Yoga. We see teenagers actually sitting for the pranayama sessions. I look at this as a positive indication.

The Yoga masters of today's time may have their strengths and weaknesses, however, one thing is good, until they are inspiring individuals to take the journey within, it's a step in the right direction. In today’s materialistic world, where there is no limit to desires, one also needs to understand that desires will never end, and in modern times, Yoga is one of the most useful tools for growth and inner peace.