----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:34
[internationalyogafederation-worldyogacommunity] MODERN YOGA TEACHERS IN
MODERN YOGA TEACHERS ININDIA !
I was shocked out of my wits as
I read the monthly column by a Media Celebrity Yoga Teacher of Mumbai in the
leading glossy, commercial, alternative medicine and health magazine ofIndia .
She was writing on Prana and
Pranayama and in the first paragraph was trying to be candidly honest in
confessing that she had always thought Pranayama was only breath control till
recently when she learned that it was the expansion of Prana the life force!!!
She seemed overjoyed with this new discovery of hers without realizing the
deeper implications of her Avidya (ignorance).
Where was she all these days?
Didnt her Yoga teachers / Gurus ever mention this to her? Or maybe she was
not ready for that non materialistic aspect of Yoga as she was too busy
running the race for the most popular Yoga teacher in
India ! How was
she teaching Pranayama all these years with this limited ignorant view? If
this was her understanding of Pranayama, than were Asanas just another form of
stretching and meditation just learning to sleep sitting
A well known saying reminds us
that, the higher we go the farther we fall. As teachers we are expected to
set the standard and the term Yogacharya itself means, one who teachers by
example. If a prominent Yoga teachers level of ignorance of Real Yoga is
such, then what to speak of the general public?
How can I blame her alone for
this level of ignorance when at one of the leading Yoga centres down south, I
was stunned to hear the resident Swami talk with dismay of his interaction
with Yoga teacher trainees the day before where they had displayed blissful
ignorance of the five Yamas and Niyamas!! What were those students learning if
they didnt even know this fundamental aspect of Yoga? Were they too busy
learning Anatomy and Physiology, dietetics, therapy techniques for this and
that and other subjects that the learning of Yoga was washed away in the
deluge of subjects studied in the university pattern?
How can I forget the Yoga
teacher of a reputed school in
Pondicherry who told me with frankness, I
dont bother trying to follow the Yama-Niyama as I know that I can never
follow them to perfection. So, rather than fail trying, I would rather just
work on Asanas etc! perhaps he also never heard of the Kyudo master Hideharu Onuma who said,
To not try for perfection is to be less
Recently I happened to watch the
final practical exam of a Diploma in Yoga course conducted by a college. It
was humiliating to see that the students of the one year course didnt know
the difference between Utkat Asana (the squatting posture) and Ushtra Asana
(the camel posture)! Dhanurasana (the bow posture) and Trikona Asana (the
triangle posture) were similarly confused by many of the examinees. Of more
than a dozen questions asked, only one was partially answered, yet due to
institutional reasons such candidates were not failed in their practicals!!!
What are they going to teach in the name of Yoga? Better be a good plumber
than a bad Yoga teacher I told one of them who was also working part-time as a
Yoga teachers and Gurus are
nowadays graded on how many students they have and how big an institution they
have managed to build! Teaching thousands in a class is the way to attract
media publicity and who cares what happens to the poor participants who have
no clue to the practices at all. Herd mentality is such that most participants
are there just because it is a status symbol. All they want is the chance to
say later with conceit I was at that mega camp conducted by so and so, were
you not spiritual enough to be there??
Another University with good
intention teaches Yoga in mass scale and you have nearly 300 students
attending their exams on the same day! Which examiner can evaluate the
performance of Shat Karmas, Asanas or Pranayamas of the student in such as
situation? What quality will be churned out ultimately in this mass production
I used to think that two week
and one month short teachers training courses were bad enough but now we
have institutions giving away certificates in Yoga just for the money. Pay the
exorbitant fees and collect your certificate, irrespective of whether you know
head or tail about Yoga!! In a recent interview, the interviewer truthfully
reported that this prominent Yoga teacher of many years standing was now being
helped by his son-in-law in his (hold your breath) BUSINESS!!!
YES! A BUSINESS! THAT IS WHAT
YOGA TEACHING HAS BECOME TODAY IN
INDIA , THE MOTHERLAND OF
Yogacharya Dr.Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Chairman : Yoganjali Natyalayam and
Hon General Secretary, Pondicherry Yogasana
25, 2nd Cross,Iyyanar Nagar, Pondicherry, South
Tel: +91-413 - 2622902 / +91-413 -3203314/+91-413
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