Yoga: Changing lives and lifestyles
An ancient way of a life or a health fad? Yoga seems to have a widespread reputation as both. But unlike crossfit or pilates, it seems to have lasted a few millennia, spreading across the world in various forms. The term ‘yoga’ simply means ‘to join’, in this case yogic practices which focus on either melding or separation of the mind and soul.
There are various kinds of yoga depending on their stream and time-period. These are:
- Pre-Classical Yoga: Focuses on melding of the mind and soul, and includes aspects of both Hinduism and Buddhism.
- Classical Yoga: Characterized by the principles of The Yoga Sutra and its Eightfold Path, it focuses on the separation of the mind and the body in order to cleanse the soul.
- Post-Classical Yoga: This applies the principles and methods of ancient yoga to the modern-day lifestyles and values. It involves a five-point system that includes diet alongside different kinds of Asanas and meditation.
While the different eras of yoga have given rise to a standard followed in the modern age, different streams of yoga are prevalent in today’s time:
- Bhakti Yoga: Primary focus lies on the spiritual aspect of yoga; hence it is less physically intensive. It is for those pursuing spirituality as the ultimate goal through the medium of yoga.
- Karma Yoga: Based on concepts of disciplined action/movement, Karma Yoga is about changing ones naturally self-centered attitudes and learning to be one with the universe’s processes.
- Jnana Yoga: Jnana Yoga follows the Four Pillars of Knowledge. Its objective is to combine the physical with the mind and soul.
- Raja Yoga: Focused on achieving mental control, Raja Yoga is for those seek to live a balanced life. It uses meditation and Asanas to help one achieve control over their thoughts.
- Kriya Yoga: One of the most ancient forms of yoga, Kriya Yoga is utilized in rapid pursuit of worldly detachment. An artform for those seeking an ascetic life, Kriya Yoga is a tool on the path to enlightenment.
Western offshoots like ‘Hot Yoga’ and ‘Beer Yoga’ etc. are modern forms distorting the real study of Yoga. The growing popularity of yoga has turned it into a lifestyle fad for people to follow. But real yoga is a serious field of study. These days, owing to the natural healing benefits it is being touted as a means of improving health in a holistic manner.
- Increased flexibility & improved athletic performance: Helps keep the joints flexible for a healthier life and keep off chronic ailments. Ideal for people of all ages and even sportspersons.
- Increased muscle strength & weight management: Helps improve muscle memory to keep body’s agility and strength intact. Repeated practice helps shed off excess weight.
- Improved circulation and vitality: Based on the simple technique of breathing and channelizing energy this leads to improving immunity and youthfulness in our body. This goes a great deal in preventing injuries.
- Balances metabolism: Food and digestion is well monitored with breathing techniques and improved circulation that comes with yoga asana.
All this makes it apparent that yoga needs proper training and hence proper trainers. Closer home B.Sc. and M.Sc. programs in yoga are now becoming popular, as not only does this field require more professionals with a deeper understanding of the subject, but also because qualified researchers are required in this field as well to help it evolve into a truly bigger and better branch of health and wellness. At NSHM Knowledge Campus we have identified the need for having proper degree courses to ensure that Yoga reaches everyone in the best possible way for overall development. Know more about our courses here