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Making a beginning in Yoga edit button Edit

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A.D Pradeep Kumar | calendar 18 February 2024 | 78

Yoga is more than mere postures. FES begins this week a fortnightly series on the correct attitudes and postures for yoga.

It has become fashionable these days to say that you are doing yoga. Yoga being touted widely by health clubs, beauty clinics and even gymnasiums. Moreover, there is a plethora of books and magazines, which outline complex yoga postures, but seldom warn you about the consequences of doing yoga without proper guidance. Yoga done without directions from a well-trained teacher can cause mental and physical ill-health.

Yoga, says Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra, director of The Yoga Institute, Santacruz, has become a saleable commodity today. He cites an example of when he visited Australia some years ago, and discovered that over 300 names were listed in the telephone directory for yoga classes.

Yogic asanas are performed to create inwardness, quietness and introspection, quite different from the competitive spirit that other sports or exercise foster. In our new fortnightly series of articles on yoga and its benefits. We will try to give you a correct perspective into the yogic way of living to help you improve the quality of your life. Our recommendations are based on the concepts advocated by The Yoga Institute, which has researched the science of yoga in all its profundity.

The founder of The Yoga Institute and the father of Yogendra, the late Shri Yogendraji, simplified yogic techniques so that even laymen could practise them and be benefited. He developed yoga into a practical and pragmatic science for the betterment and evolution of mankind. Yogendraji was the disciple of Paramahansa Madhavadasji, one of the greatest yogis in modern India, and the main plank of his work is that he integrated yoga with the classical sutras of Patanjali.

Of primary importance in Yogendraji's guidelines was the fact that physical fitness does not require complicated yogic postures. A few simple asanas and two or three pranayams a day are all that are required. But the asanas should be done properly under the guidance of a well-trained teacher with proper synchronisation of breathing and with the right attitude. These are more important than the posture itself.

By definition, yoga is a complete, practical system of self-culture, which aims at interrelated harmonious development of one's body, mind and dormant psychic potencies. At least that is how Yogendraji put it.

His son, Yogendra, emphasises the karma yoga aspect. He also stresses attitudes like dharma, jnana, vairagya and aiswarya, all of which have to be generated while doing yogic asanas.

The work of The Yoga Institute says Yogendra can be compared to the work done by the great reformer yogi, Gorakshanath in the 9th century AD who reformed the old Tantric tradition and presented to India the system of hathayoga.

Yoga is a science aimed at the complete development of growth of an individual. It results in the complete transformation of his personality. It is not just exercise, or meditation, or even relaxation. The purpose of yoga is to gain complete control over our whole personality; the body the mind, the feelings and whatever we are.

Yoga expedites man's natural process of evolution in all departments of life, especially the evolution of consciousness. A fuller life-in yogic terms-can only be achieved through a harmonious way of living, which implies a total change of our values, habits and outlook on life. So, are you ready to begin?