Friday, October 16, 2009

My YOGA is better than your yoga

I have been following Linda's yoga blog for a few months and have been reading a few other yoga blogs(American) along the way.

I see a lot of things written about the yoga in the west . There are arguments and counter arguments. There is actually a debate going on about American yoga, the branding of yoga in different styles.

I could not stop laughing after reading a comment on Brenda's blog post . The commentator mentioned that during a discussion after a yoga class a gentleman(who is from India but living the USA for over 20 years)said that

“You Americans make everything so dramatic! It’s only stretching.” I really agree with that comment, about dramatizing things. Sure YOGA is much more than stretching, as you go deeper in your practice, you move from just the asana practice towards more meditative aspects of YOGA. But the key is, as a teacher, one should be able to dilute the YOGA dose at the level of one's students. Giving students the knowledge they are ready for, gradually.

If a YOGA class does not involve pranayam or meditation session it is still YOGA. Just like explaining kids about an apple falling from a tree is physics and teaching astrophysics/ nuclear physics to Ph D students is still physics.

I grew up in India, attended YOGA classes taught by my Aunt, by Iyengar teachers too. I came across couple of different styles of YOGA but never ever witnessed any such arguments/discussions/debates about YOGA not being YOGA just because teachers do not give a dose of spirituality. There wasn't any kind of one-upmanship. There were no lulu lemon yoga clothes(now this may be a case of sour grapes, since I simply can't afford those :), but on a serious note, even if I had disposable income I would not feel comfortable wearing those things ).Forget the fancy YOGA clothes, I had not even seen a yoga mat back home.

When I voiced my opinion on Linda's blog post, she said that because in India, yoga is just yoga, there is no need to make it sexy. SO, all this debate/discussions/style/formats/philosophy of yoga just to make it sexy? Who would have thought! Can't really argue with that one. Let the saga continue…To each its own!


Saee said...

haha..I completely agree. :)
I once went to an Ashtanga class here. And I did not feel a thing. There was no "exercise" at all. Usually, when i do yoga at home, I start of with fast Suryanamaskar and then hold asanas for longer time. At the end of a good yogasan session, you are automatically challenged to breath deeply and meditate. I think meditation should be a "development" of your yoga session. It should not be on the "menu".
BTW, I would really like to know if I can replace fast Yoga for running to stay in shape. :)

Raghav Singh said...

Yoga is the natural way to stay happy, healthy and stress free. It is the best home exercises you can do around the house.
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