20 Dec Yoga Chow Chow of Modern Day
Yoga Chow Chow of modern day
It is said, science of yoga is as ancient as civilisation itself, since it represents the effort, the part, the progress and the end of human evolution. At individual level it could be referred to as self-evolution, self-culture, self realisation. This explains what the human being is capable of achieving by himself i.e. physically, mentally, emotionally, morally and spiritually. Science of yoga is totally a practical system of self-culture.
Science of yoga deals with the conscious communion of the finite soul with the ultimate infinite with the pseudonym of GOD. Sage Patanjali defines yoga as restraint of all mental modifications or annihilation of all mental functions which lead the soul to its real nature. This process of restraining the mind is not for the distracted as this is an extremely difficult path meant for only the conscientious west. However for those of us who are not so focused there are various pathways which are approachable as a way of life if one is inclined.
It is aptly said variety is the spice of life, for man is ever hungry for satiety, constantly fuelled in hankering for variety. Where there is fuel there is fire obviously, and so we have variety of Yoga in our modern times beginning from the ancient Gyan Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga to the more modern Power Yoga, Hot Yoga, Cold Yoga, Pool Yoga, Vinayasa Yoga, etc.
Ancient Yoga has been shredded to pieces by hatred, greed, power hungry monopoly. It has undergone acute transformation through centuries. Though the purest form of Yoga, the celestial gift to mankind originated in India, its vitiated versions are circulating all over the globe. Against the responsibility being man’s greed and power game to suit the changing times. Man wants quick result, effort and perseverance has no place in his ‘Quick Fix’ yoga routine.
There are those who totally opt for physical ‘Power Yoga’ or ‘Hot Yoga’ for a sculpted, lean-mean sinuous body. Well! It stops here. Philosophical or spiritual growth of one’s mind and emotion means nothing compared to body beautiful. In fact holistic approach is considered waste of time and energy in the rat race of material acquirements for the millennium man.
And yet, there are other forms of Yoga like Karma Yoga, where one works on ones consciousness through self-less action and service. Legendary figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Shri Baba Amte opted for this path, there body, mind and intellect stretched thin for the welfare of humanity.
Mantra Yoga is another path, meditation through sound vibrations which has an impact on the restless mind. Though earlier this was part of the Yoga philosophy, in recent times it is misused for material gains rather than holistic peace. Recitation for the sake recitation without indepth understanding.
Bhakti yoga is mostly practiced by the sensitive and emotional lot. Through love, faith and devotion to the infinite they seek release from the cycle of birth and death.
Hatha yoga has its pitfalls since it is more physical in its approach, there is a chance of one’s ego getting the boost, leading one in wrong direction.
Tantra or Laya yoga deals with meditation on harnessing the biological sexual energies to awaken the higher consciousness. However this is the misconstrued form of Yoga in modern times.
Buddhist and Jain yoga do not follow the ancient Vedas but their one objective is the Nirvana from the life cycle.
In comparison to most of the above, we have Maharshi Patanjali’s ‘classical Yoga’. In his benevolence to mankind realising people vary in their intellect, inclination and capability he categorised people into three groups. To the best he suggested ‘Abhyasa and Vairagya’, to the middling ‘Kriya Yoga’ and to the rest of us wallowing in the quagmire of materialism he suggested ‘Ashtanga Yoga/ eight rungs of Yoga’. These eight rungs are especially meant for the ordinary householder embroiled in the upheavals of family life, stress related lifestyle ailments and day to day challenges.
It is said science of Ashtanga Yoga if practiced regularly with devotion; an ordinary householder can transform into an extraordinary human being capable of breaking the cycle of birth and death and attain Moksha. A great example of our times is Poojya Yogendraji, a householder himself. He founded The Yoga Institute at Santacruz East, Mumbai. For the past 98 years it has stood ground, catering to the masses selflessly. Dr. Jayadeva Yogendraji and his wife Smt. Hansaji Yogendra are at the helm of this temple of service to humanity. Running the institute with no loss no profit basis.
On an average 1000 people visit our Institute on an everyday basis to benefit through Yoga. Not just the feeble, ailing and the suffering but also the able benefit by coming here, lifestyle management through Yoga. We have various health and educational camps for all age groups, short and long term teacher training courses, Satsang on Sundays and Parisamvad programs on every day. Anyone can attend these free of charge and benefit. We also have an excellent health program ‘Samatvam’ every Saturday, anyone ailing can walk in for a nominal fee and interact with leading consultants of medical field.
Our founder Shri Yogendraji, realising the complexities of ancient Hatha Yoga practices simplified the Asanas, Pranayamas and relaxation techniques. With his thorough knowledge of the maze of human psyche he created various attitudinal techniques like ‘Anithya Bhavana’, ‘Pratipaksh Bhavana’ and ‘Vipaksha Bhavana’ and many more to calm and steady the mind bringing about clarity, focus and purpose to one’s action. He succeeded in bringing about the essence of totality of many branches of Yoga into simplified routine practices taking care to retain the benefits. 98 years of conscientious service is the proof of his hard work being carried on with the grace of Almighty.