H C Singh

Yoga from Ancient Times to Today- Modern Emphasis and Implication

 Words Yog and Yogi occur in Ancient Hindu books Vedas which describe mainly the spiritual features or aspects of yog relating to mind, its concentration on banishing from mind and thoughts, relating to selfishness, greed and going astray from the right path laid down in Vedas. Those who practiced by concentration such good thoughts and never thought of doing harm to anyone, were called Yogis and women as Yognis. Ancient Yogis bothered nothing or little about physical exercise but concentrated on pacifying the soul, not much concerned with their physical fitness of body. When a person gains the spiritual purification of the soul, he attains what they call Moksha that is release from the cycle of rebirth in which Hindu religions and Hindus believed in ancient times and majority of Hindus believe today. Even Lord Krishna referred to spiritual aspects of Yoga in Bhagvad Gita.

In modern times “Yog” is referred to as yoga and is much more concerned with physical aspects and exercises to keep body fit. It is understandable because modern world does not believe much in philosophy of transmigration of soul and many lives after death of the body as the soul does not die. Moreover as yoga was to be made popular in the world, besides India, concentration on physical exercises, which Europeans and American consider more important, became popular. Modern Yoga, as propagated by Swami Ramdev, who has been travelling, not only in urban areas all over India, but in Europe and America, has been very popular. Thousands of people in Europe and USA have attended his Yogic discourse and exercises. While millions of Indians in urban areas have done so and many million watch the exercises on T.V. and listen to his discourse, though emphasizing both spiritual aspects of yoga and much more on physical aspects as demonstrated by Swami Ramdev and also explained and illustrated in his books on yoga. There are no longer many ‘yogis’ or ‘yognis’ in India and not at all or very insignificant in USA.

Why people all over the world are following modern yoga that concentrates 75% on physical exercise and physical fitness? Because modern yoga specifies, particular yogic exercise, as taught by a yogi or guru like Namdev or specified in yoga books by Namdev and other yogis like Sri Sri’, for a particular disease. It is claimed by modern yogis that such exercises cures disease like Obesity, diabetics, dislocation of disc, respiratory problems, arthritis of various types and various spine problems, high blood pressure besides stress and even cholesterol problems and heart diseases. Infact for all types of diseases Yogic exercises have a remedy. This stress on modern physical exercise method of yoga demonstrated by yogis like Ramdev is making yoga more popular all over the world.

 Yogic exercises are becoming so popular and universal that parents who have learnt yogic exercises are motivating and even teaching their young school going children some exercises to make them conscious about their health. It is also observed from the live discourses of Swami Ramdev that many old persons so called senior citizens are meticulously learning and performing some exercise, said to be or explained by yogi hoping that these exercises will make them feel free from disease. Accordingly in modern times i.e. 21st century, there are few individual yogis concerned with their own effort to attain Moksha but million time more learners of yogic exercises to remain fit and also to cure some diseases if possible, without going to doctor or hospital.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment