‘Modern Yoga’ – A fabricated truth
Being a Yoga teacher, I have been asked many times–Which style/types of Yoga do I teach and every time my answer is that-Yoga is just Yoga, it has no types or styles.
It is unfortunate to see that the concept of ‘Modern Yoga’ has completely distorted the meaning and purpose of true Yoga. According to latest articles in news papers, magazines and television, people have frequently used the word ‘Modern Yoga’,which usually meant Asana practice (yoga poses) for the physical health.People are running behind the Yoga classes without even understanding the meaning of Yoga.
According to me Modern Yoga does not make any sense because Yoga is not a fashion or trend which can be changed according to the time. It is a time immemorial (Aadi kal),consistent science which can explain our existence, creation and destruction.
We need to understand that Yoga is not a fitness regime developed by modern man in laboratories, it is given by sages/rishis/swamis thousands of years back by direct experience of real truth which is called samadhi(trance)/moksha(libration) /nirvana(enlightenment).
According to Modern Yoga-Yoga is a physical system, which has spiritual element !
but in real –Yoga is a spiritual system, which has a small factor of physical exercises.
The true meaning of Yoga
‘Yoga’ is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means “to join” or “to Unite”.
1)Yujir Yoge– Union of Jivatma(soul) to Paramatma(supreme soul)/Oneness with Brahman
2) Yuj Samadhau– Elevated condition of Chitta (field of consciousness)/complete knowledge/blissful/concentrated mind.
3) Yuj Samyamane– Control Judiciously/strong control over thoughts
”Yoga means union,in all its significance and dimensions.- Indra Devi”
The real aim of Yoga
”The goal of Yoga is Yoga: Paramhansa Yogananda”
The real destination of Yoga is union, it is a process of awakening of preexisting union within us.
Or union of an individual consciousness to the universal consciousness.
In more authentic manner, there are certain terminologies are used which exactly cannot be translated in English , as-
- Union between Atman(soul) and Brahman(highest reality).(Jyana Yoga)
- Union of Shiva and Shakti (Kundalini /Kriya Yoga)
- The realization of Purusha(seer) standing alone as separate from Prakriti (seen/nature). (Raj Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga)
Few famous commentaries on modern Yoga-
1-In the opening paragraph of Lectures on Yoga, Swami Rama explains:
‘”The word Yoga is much used and much misunderstood these days. Many false and incomplete teachings have been propagated in its name, it has been subject to commercial exploitation, and one small aspect of Yoga is often taken to be all of Yoga. For instance, many people in the West think it is a physical and beauty cult, while others think it is a religion. All of this has obscured the real meaning of Yoga.”
2-In the second volume of Path of Fire and Light, Swami Rama goes even further, where he flatly declares:
“The word ‘Yoga’ has been vulgarized and does not mean anything now .”
3-“Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice”
2010, Oxford University Press -Mark Singleton
“In spite of the immense popularity of postural yoga worldwide, there is little or no evidence that asana (excepting certain seated postures of meditation) has ever been the primary aspect of any Indian yoga practice tradition… The primacy of asana(yoga poses) performance in transnational yoga today is a new phenomenon that has no parallel in premodern times.” (page 1 of the Introduction)
“Singleton shows that, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence in the Indian tradition for the kind of health and fitness-oriented asana(yoga poses) practice that dominates the global yoga scene of the twenty-first century. Singleton’s surprising and surely controversial thesis is that yoga as popularly practiced today owes a great debt to modern Indian nationalism, and even more surprisingly, to the spiritual aspirations of European bodybuilding and early 20th-century women’s gymnastic movements of Europe and America, than it does to any ancient Indian yoga tradition.”(back cover of the book)
It is high time for us to understand the real nature and purpose of Yoga, not because it is an ancient science or Spiritual, because this is the only solution to bring peace and harmony in the world.
Today because of our low consciousness level, we are ignorant from our true nature which is love and happiness instead we are fighting, jealous and killing each other. Anger has become the second nature of human being.
To reduce these negative elements in the society, it is important to us to improve our awareness level and understand our divine nature and live happily. After all we all look for the ultimate happiness!
Next time when you enter in a Yoga class,be mindful and remember that its going to improve your mind,body and most importantly your soul.
Lets begin a new era of Yoga with Yoga begins – to be continued !
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah,sarve santu niramayah !
May all be happy, may all be disease less!