Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yoga : In its Truest Sense


Search google for Yoga and of the ten results that will appear almost 8 of them don't exactly point to what Yoga really is. Its disappointing to see in a country like India, which is the birth-place of the divine science of yoga, that people misinterpret yoga with pranayamas and asanas. It shows ignorance seeing people buying costly books titled "Yoga" which contains photos of a slim and trim guy or girl performing different asanas and stretching exercises. And thats not all, these people flaunt that they are doing Yoga or that they have learnt Yoga.


Yoga, in its broadest sense means union. It implies union of mind, body and soul. It comprises of eight steps : yama, niyama, asana, pranayam, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. The latter four points to the subtleties of the human mind. Of these eight steps, what people like Baba Ramdev are teaching are just Asana and Pranayama. No doubt they help a person to become physically fit, but this is not yoga. There should be a clear boundary between yoga and pranayama. Hundreds of books and CDs, especially of foreign writers, are available in the market titled Yoga and what they contain is nothing more than several asanas and stretching exercises.

The sad point is that the essence of Yoga is being lost in the country of its origin only. Just as Kung Fu originated in India and now China owns it, similarly Yoga is being lost from India and that too much due to our own ignorance. Yoga is not just an exercise, but its a science : the science which leads to enlightenment.

Understand this and safeguard its true spirit!

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