International World Yoga day has become a buzz since last year, thanks to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to make it an official celebration not just in India but throughout the world. With such a political figure playing such a significant part in the importance of Yoga, lets look at who else in India has had an influence in making this 5000 year old tradition more popular in the more recent times. Another Prime Minister who had a connection with Yoga comes to mind. Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had a Yoga guru named Dhirendra Bhramachary. His influence in politics grew in the late 1970s when Indira Gandhi was in power. He featured on the National TV channel called Doordarshan and would do a weekly broadcast on the benefits of Yoga. This was considered to be quite an innovation in that time. He introduced Yoga to Delhi schools and later introduced them to Kendriya Vidyalayas, which are Central government schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education. He also wrote books on Yoga, one of which was also a documentary filmed in its time "Sukshma Vyayama shown by Dhirendra Brahmachari". This covered Yoga that the general masses could do to aide them in their day to day living. Dhirendra Bhramachari Researching Dhirendra Bhramachary brings up a lot of controversial reading material, links to Politics, another other issues that I personally am not interested in. What I am impressed by is that even in the 70's this yogi has used TV and film as a medium to promote Yoga and bring it to the masses. He made Yoga popular in his time in the way he could. If you are interested in watching [...]
As the crescendo of International Yoga Day builds up; it's worth spending awhile contemplating what Yoga really is? In it's modern-day avatar, Yoga has become a Panacea for all manner of ills. It's a Fitness regime, Stress-buster, a Holistic lifestyle, Spiritual discipline and much more. So how can a single stream of study cater to so many different human needs? At the outset, it's interesting to consider that Yoga is perhaps the most comprehensive study of a Human Being ever conducted. Both in terms of Breadth of Subject matter (body, mind, consciousness) studied and Duration of the research (5,000 years!) Yoga is an Experiment with one's Body, Mind & Spirit in the quest of Liberation and Transcendence. That's what Yoga essentially is. Since ancient times, when a Man/Woman began questioning Life and their place in the vastness of the Universe; they turned towards Introspection and Meditation to seek Answers. That process is what we call Yoga. As incredulous as it may seem, this 5000 year-old discipline has never gotten outdated! In spite of several Millennia worth of transformation; Man's essential Questions have remained the same. And hence Yoga still is relevant. In fact not only is it still relevant, Yoga is thriving like never before. From a spiritual pursuit undertaken by a few under their Guru's watch; Yoga has metamorphosed into something of a Pop-Culture phenomenon! Yoga is one of 6 traditional 'Darshans' (literally 'to see') of Indian philosophy: Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa - Uttara & Purva (also called Vedanta), Samkhya and Yoga. Yoga is the most practical of all philosophical systems in the world and has gained popularity being a holistic regime that is beneficial for body, mind and spirit. Traditionally there are 4 forms of Yoga, and based on [...]
We recently completed our successful #YomasteLadakh Yoga retreat, taking 43 brave-hearts on an epic Yoga journey through the stunning locales of Ladakh, culminating in a full-moon night Meditation on Buddha Purnima itself! Each of the 8 days we spent exploring Ladakh was a memory of a lifetime; and taught us important life lessons as well. The sights were stunning beyond words - Ladakh is surely where the IncredibleIndia moniker must have been conceived! Here's 5 things I learnt about doing Yoga in Ladakh. High Altitude = Shortness of Breath. Ladakh is not a hill-station, it's a Himalayan mountain post. And as soon as you land at the Airport, all you hear is that you should take rest for the first 24-36 hours to acclimatise to the high altitude. If you follow these instructions, you'll be fine. Even so however, you'll be surprised how walking up a couple of flights of stairs while talking simultaneously makes you experience shortness of breath. That's where our Pranayam training is so beneficial in adapting to the high altitude of Ladakh. Yogis have been living in high altitude for thousands of years, and Yoga was conceived as a holistic Lifestyle regimen for this yogis living at these sorts of altitudes. Even Running and other cardio training cannot prepare you the way Pranayam does. Fitness Challenge indeed! Ladakh represents an amazing Fitness challenge for anyone visiting and even more so for people Trekking, Mountaineering, Rafting or attempting the other adventure activities in Ladakh. The key to doing well in Ladakh is to remain Relaxed and not compete against the Elements. That's where Mindfulness and Meditation training helps you stay centred and relaxed. However Fit you may be in your home, Ladakh demands Respect. Many a Fitness fanatic [...]
The popularity of yoga (瑜伽) in Shanghai, China has taken a great leap forward over the past five years. An initial internet search easily brings up over forty yoga studios in the Shanghai area, many with several branches, and this number is not inclusive of fitness clubs with yoga offerings on their class rosters. The rising wealth of the city and a growing focus on quality of life have opened up a huge market space for the health and wellness industry, easily visible in trends like the boom in farm-to-table restaurants and health food eateries like Hunter Gatherer and Sproutworks, wellness centers and educational collectives like Sprout Lifestyle and Octave. The yoga scene, arguably already well-established before the peak of this wellness trend, has benefitted tremendously. Even while maintaining a prohibitively high price point, the last five years have seen yoga broaden its membership from an expat niche market to a primarily well-heeled local Shanghainese base. This blog aims to provide a flavor of yoga studios in Shanghai across the broad range of offerings available here. I tried out both the large, high-end yoga chains such as Y+ and the smaller bespoke studios such as Red Door. Having moved to Shanghai after several years of living and practicing yoga in India, I admit that I initially experienced yoga culture shock. Shanghai definitely has a unique yoga culture often highly influenced by U.S. fitness focus and, perhaps more interestingly, mixed with Taoist energy practices and philosophy. Here’s my experience with four studios in Shanghai. The Big Players Y+ Y+ Yoga Studio Chain One of the most established high-end yoga chains in the city, Y+ was the first studio I tried upon arriving in Shanghai. [...]
Good day Workaholics! Here is a reference sheet for you to use to energise your mornings. Do this routine which will take you not more than 15mins and will make a difference to your day! You can click on the image and download it or print it so that you have it as a reference at home! Let me know how you go! Energise your mornings!