As June 21 nears, the buzz on Yoga, gaining ground by the day. From a spiritual exercise, on the path towards realization of the soul, and finally ending in liberation, the commercialization and globalization of YOGA has reduced it to mere physical exercise, with a lot of fan fare and tamashaa-yoga gurus, yoga mats, yoga day; renaming it yoga …and now its is power yoga.
As an old age discipline, yoga was practiced and propagated in the sub continent of India since ancient times, as a naturally corollary to the fulfillment of the four purushastras viz: dharma, artha, kama, moksha; the earliest and the greatest yogi being none other than Shiva, himself – the yogi of yogis. The most popularly practiced school being that enunciated by Rishi Patanjali as Ashtanga yoga, in which the Rishi advocated the eight limbs of yoga: yam, nigm, asana, pranayama, pratyathar, dharma, dhyana and samadhi.
Of these yoga, commonly includes the practice of asanas (sitting and standing postures / positions) and pranayama (breathing exercises). With time and to make more commercially popular, the asanas have been further diluted to simple standing and sitting postures and positions of the arms, legs, torso and head; an important deviation being flouting of the rules of the breathing and holding of the breath in the asanas, thereby reducing them to mere physical exercises- while its believed (as told by the gurus) , that in practicing yoga, one should practice it in a speed that is conducive to giving happiness, relaxation and anand, nonetheless, we today have Power yoga done extremely fast with loud music and extremely popular amongst the youngsters…the brighter side being that todays youth are more connected to Yog via Yoga….. err Power Yoga, than the days when Yog existed in all its purity.