By A Devotee of Vedanta
The word “Yoga” emerging with all these fitness variations speaks volumes of its “commercial brand appeal.” But is there something more to this popularity, beyond just the commercial aspect?
To trace the origin of Yoga, one has to travel thousands of years back in time to the recluses. This word literally means “to unite.” It is a technique to restrain the otherwise restless mind and body. Using this technique our faculties evolve. We begin to perceive the inherent harmony in all beings and experience universal unity.
Just as water, regardless of how it is flavored or colored, retains its power to quench our thirst, so it is with Yoga. Being a universal technique it can be applied to any faculty – emotions, actions, thoughts, reasoning and so on. In Bhagavad Gita eighteen varieties of Yoga are described.
So it may not be surprising if the fitness industry offers so many variations of Yoga.
Last December, the UN declared June 21st as International Yoga Day. This gave geo-political recognition to Yoga. Many promoters of Yoga worldwide are observing Yoga day, each in their own way. June 19-21 Vedanta Society of Providence is arranging special programs to observe this occasion. With these efforts, hopefully the genuine aspects of Yoga come to light, and we can learn to apply it beyond just physical wellness.
What are your views on Yoga and the International Yoga Day? Please share your comments.