The Global Growth of Yoga
How many of us know about the history of yoga, who started it first, how did it grow, why was it neglected all these years and why is it that all eyes are on yoga and its endless health benefits? June 21st has been declared as ‘International Yoga Day’ by the UNO. This happened after our Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken at length about Indian yoga and how it can have a positive impact on our well-being and also our surroundings. Such official recognition of yoga will help in spreading this art to other parts of the world and help people benefit from it. But before we celebrate yoga and its existence, let’s go back into history and see why it has slowly moved into the global map.
Roots of yoga
One major mistake all yoga school make is to throw light on this ancient exercise form and where it came from. Not a single student knows the what’s and how’s of yoga.
Almost 6,000 years ago, the first mudras, postures and rituals of yoga were found in the Rig Veda. Though people did not believe in such forms of exercise, it gained importance as a holistic cure for body ailments. Gautama Buddha practised and preached yoga to all his disciples and then it gained momentum among the common population. When the Father of Yoga, Pathanjali started teaching about how yoga can enlighten one’s mind and how it is the way towards Samadhi, it became extremely popular. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many yogic saints travelled far and wide to propagate the art of yoga. Swami Vivekananda, a true believer of yoga spoke about it in a conference at Chicago. Soon after that hatha yoga (that’s how the western countries call it) became extremely popular as a one-stop solution for all body and mind problems. Modern day yogic saints Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sivananda Murthy, Baba Ramdev, B.K.S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois are all pioneers in carrying forward this ancient Indian art.
Today, you will be surprised to know that almost 1/4th of India’s population practises yoga, adults above 30years of age standing first in the list.
The endless benefits of yoga
More than in India, yoga has gained extreme popularity in the western countries. In 1947, an Indian lady named Indira Devi set up a yoga studio in Hollywood and that’s how it all began. Those who have been practising yoga for quite some time now vouch by the goodness it imparts. Starting from simple yoga asanas till the highly tedious surya namaskaras, every single twist and turn, bend or stretch can help you heal and maintain body’s shape.
Those with high blood pressure, stress, depression and other mind diseases should always take the help of this ancient art. The first responsibility of yoga is to relax your mind, calm you down, control blood pressure imbalances and activate the brain. Such benefits are not found in any other form of exercise and that makes it a winner all through.
People with cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, kidney disorders, age-related diseases and brain disorders can equally gain from regular yoga practise. Not just shedding calories but yoga helps you lead a meaningful life. It also teaches you will power, determination, making good intentions, staying away from negativity and problem solving, all with the stretches and body bending.
If you haven’t gone to a yoga class atleast now till now, it is time to go. Not just for passing away time with your friends but to find yourself again, heal your body and mind. Time to take pride that yoga was born in a country like ours with rich culture and traditions.