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Much ado about the right posture

Its healing power has been acknowledged the world over, but Yoga has its demerits too, finds Damini Purkayastha.
Hindustan Times | By Damini Purkayastha, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2007 04:32 PM IST

It had to be glorified by the west before Yoga came back in vogue in the land of its origin. Nowadays, Yoga has become part and parcel of our daily routine.

A morning dose on television, a colleague going gaga over his new guru and Yoga parlours opening at every nook and corner, it's Yoga everywhere.

So is the mass marketing of ages-old Yoga techniques all hunky dory? Let's hear it from people who have had first hand experiences. Surprisingly, the answer was in negative.

Says 60-year-old Ranjita Singh, "For a couple of years I followed some Yoga techniques that were meant for the eyes and I found that my vision got progressively worse."

But even younger followers are facing undesired consequences. 25-year-old Priyanka Rathi, says, "I was a patient of major depression and followed kapalbhatti pranayam with morning television and the results were terrible. Not only did my depression get aggravated, even my blood pressure shot up, physically also I felt ten times worse."

Yogi Ashwini, the founder of Dhyan Foundation, attributes the cause to its disorganised practice. He explains, "You have to under stand that Yoga is not something that can be mass produced."

"Supervision and even more so, individual tailoring of asanas is a must. Nowadays they make Yoga a pill and market it, which goes against the very tenets of Yoga."

Hari Singh Bhupesh, a home-Yoga instructor adds, "Television cannot impart proper information. For example, kapalbhatti can be bad for people with high blood pressure."

So should one be wary of Yoga and the mushrooming centers all over the city? Yogi Ashwini, who has patients suffering from colon problems, spinal, neck, knee problems and erratic blood pressure, says, "There are two levels of Yoga, one is purely physical, and if that is all you want, you might as well go jogging.

Yoga is meant for evolution, to heighten your consciousness, help you control your own body, and the environment around us for the betterment of the society ."

Also, commercialisation has dented the primary function of the Yogic asanas. Ashwini answers the second part of the question, "Yoga is meant to take you beyond maya, and teaching certain asanas for a fee defeats the purpose of Yoga. At the foundation we believe that one must follow pure Yoga, the 8-limb Yoga, no cult no money, just pure Yoga."

So think before you mix maya and Yoga.

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