While the West rakes in the moola from India’s ancient wisdom, Yoga, a billion-dollar industry, by selling all kinds of corrupt versions of Yoga, we in Bharat, the Land of Yoga and Ayurveda, have failed to cash in on our rich treasures
I always say Hindutva is the best choice for humanity, it’s a gift from India, to India and the world, and yoga marries so well with Hindutva. I have always been a lover of yoga because it truly is magic to mind, body and soul. Yoga aligns all these together so your body and thought become in harmony. Unfortunately, most westerners have a nebulous perception of yoga.
Yoga is growing big in the USA. The revenue of the yoga industry in 2012 was 6.9 billion and by 2020 it will reach 11.56. Sadly, there are a lot of certified teachers in the USA who just get their certificate because it is a money-making generator. They are missing out of the core fundamentals of the spirituality and magic of yoga.
I have been to classes, seen and heard about the different styles and approaches they are using. It is merely just a form of exercise, where one is doing squats in some yoga format or doing push-ups in another format just to get the heart up to burn calories. They are truly missing out of the true, original form of yoga that transforms you. It’s not all about exercise but about discovering yourself.
People today are so anxious, uptight, and on the edge constantly that they don’t know how to relax. Yoga can help them but the yoga studios across the country are portraying yoga in a different light from its original format. They are not reaping the full benefits that come from this gift, gifted to us from India. The rewards should be enough to make one practice. Mainstream yoga in the United States may be somewhat like hatha yoga but it’s very different than the traditional types. It appears that many have an ambiguous concept of yoga. Maybe there might be some benefits in that but traditional yoga in its original form has a deep spiritual significance, to add, it is alternative medicine. The list of benefits is enough to make someone want to explore the real art of yoga. With an explosion of ADHD in American yoga has proven to be very helpful for children with this condition.
The magic of yoga can reduce stress, increase flexibility, improve balance, promote strength, improve cardiovascular, lower blood pressure, reduce overweight, strengthen bones, prevent injuries, lift mood, improve immune function and promote spiritual well-being. Yoga calms the mind and in return calms the nerves which relax the muscles which generate positive thoughts. They effects yoga has on depression and anxiety are impressive, one might not need to take their prescription medications if practising yoga.
While westerners are doing some format of yoga, sadly, many people living in India do not practise yoga. I’ve noticed many in India are taking up the typical western type of exercises like weight lifting or cardio. Those style of exercises are great but one should incorporate a yoga session at least twice a week as yoga keeps you in tuned. Yoga is the antidote to your tumultuous life. The ancient teachings and wisdom of Hinduism and yoga are life-changing and transforming. One should practice yoga to rediscover themselves.
When one practises yoga, you might begin to learn and discover things about yourself that you could never see before. You might become more compassionate for the world and animals, and even become a vegetarian. This is the spiritual side of yoga, the magical side of yoga, it is unexplainable but true. It’s like faith, being certain of something even though you can not see it at the moment. This is the beauty and magic of this ancient practice out of India. Yoga is an ancient gift for the modern world. Just one of India’s many gifts and contributions to the world!
(The writer is a social activist and founder of Voice for India Project through which she tells the world about the real India )