Sep 2, 2015

Yoga gets official sport status in India

Yoga is now one of the recognised sports in India. Not only that, it gets 'priority' status and thus finds a superior place among sports, and sits along with football and hockey.

  • It will create jobs for yoga teachers, yes.
  • It will further promote yoga, yes.
  • It will create favourable environment and infrastructure for yoga, yes.
  • It will lead to better fitness among sportspersons and people in general, maybe yes.
But I am not too impressed. Real yoga is too much a healing science to be called a sport; maybe, it can be called a system of alternative medicine. Maybe, not.

Jul 31, 2015

Modi's yoga buzz may not last long, I'm afraid.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a month back:
"Countless people across the world made yoga an integral part of their lives. Congrats to them!... This will inspire many more people towards yoga. Yoga has the power to bring the entire humankind together! It beautifully combines Gyan (knowledge), Karm (work) and Bhakti (devotion)."
In September 2013, when Modi visited the US, he had a busy schedule and all through the visit he was on fast. He attributed his seemingly unending energy despite fast to yoga. US President Barack Obama is said to be so interested in yoga that he not only discussed it with Modi, he also engaged a teacher to teach him yoga. 

Even before that, Modi wrote a post on his blog, "I sleep very less. Yoga, Pranayama and deep breathing keep me energetic throughout the day!" 

Many people are not convinced. Russian President Putin, when asked about the buzz around yoga created by Modi, is reported to have quipped back "Does Modi himself does yoga?"

The level of energy and fitness seen in Modi is really stupendous. But, frankly, one is not sure whether all of it can be attributed to yoga and pranayama. Even though I am an ardent practitioner of yoga, I can only say that regular practice of yoga does wonders, but to say that yoga would rid the world of its biological and mental ills and would bring the humankind together is expecting too much from it. I am afraid, when the hype dies down, a large number of people might shun yoga and even blame yoga for their newly acquired illnesses.

We must do things in moderation, yoga teaches us. Moderation even for the best things in life.