A guest article by Dr. Indu Arora.
Yoga as “-ISM” or Union.
My little understanding is Yoga is union. Everyone has a different path to reach the same goal but I disagree with the “ism” that it is becoming.
In my teaching tenure of 13 years, I have been often asked…so what style of Yoga do you teach? Seems like a valid question from people who are exposed to many different styles and schools. I have personally been trained by a Kriya Yogini (Mrs Shashi Khosla), gained my academic certification (Yoga Shiromani and Yoga Bhaskar) from Sivananda Institute in India, been bestowed “Yoga Ratna” from “Advaita Vedanta” follower Swami Shankara Saraswati, Brazil, following the guidelines of Swami Veda Bharati of Himalayan Yoga tradition, but I say “I teach YOGA!”
Yoga is union, union of all that you have assimilated from various masters, institutions, books, lectures & conferences in your journey to self-knowing and evolution. Union of your experiences, your courage, your passion, your love, your identity, your strength, your weakness…Why bind yourself to one style of Yoga when entire universe is nothing but YOGA. Yoga is freedom from the bondage of do’s and don’ts. It is an experiential science.
Why not be free from bondages and yet be united to all!
Yoga is not a religion; some people misunderstand by connection Yoga with various Hindu Gods and Goddess, by doing this we are making it attractive to some yet looing some those who feel insecure that it might be a trap for conversion of the religion. However, the truth is, it is not.
Why are we attached to making it a particular style and moreover my institution is better than others, my teacher is better than yours, and my style is superior than someone else’s? I guess amidst this race we are forgetting that we are loosing the purpose of Yoga…we are loosing the sight of togetherness.
Aren’t we confusing the budding YOGIS and YOGINIS? So which style should I learn? Which school should I go?
Do not misunderstand me as if I am against all the various styles we have out there but I am a little disappointed in what it is becoming or has become. I am a little disappointed in those teachers or Masters who have branded or patented Yoga. How can something like Yoga, the knowledge that is coming directly from cosmos be owned or patented by anyone. How can we have copyright on Yoga?
Instead of learning all the 8 steps…people are either learning either Asanas (posture) or Dhyana (Meditation) or Pranyama (breathing technique) or Pratyahaara (detachment and introversion of senses). Why not learn everything?
In order for us to practice Meditation, we have to learn Detachment, to learn Detachment properly we need to know how to tame the breath by learning Breathing techniques and to learn Breathing techniques; we have to be able to sit in cross legged position for comfortable time period and for that we have to learn Posture. To master Postures you have to master the moral percepts and be disciplined (Yama and Niyamas). Therefore, you see how they are interconnected and interdependent, there is togetherness, and there is union.
Let Yoga be Union and not be-come an “ISM”
The answer is surely not in isolation of one from another, be it religion, style or countries, Yoga cannot belong to any particular country as boundaries and names are created by human being. Yes, it may have been realized and experienced by some people who were ready to take the journey within on one part of the globe, but how does it matters, what matters it the message they had to share after experiencing it, else why would Yoga be called Yoga in the first place.
Think about it……
Dr. Arora is a multi-faceted personality, an expert in the field of Therapeutic Yoga, Medicine Herbalism & Naturopath and Alternate Medicine. The primary focus of her teaching is to apply a holistic approach to heal her clients through a combination of Therapeutic Yoga, Diverse Meditation techniques, Bach Flower remedies, Acupressure, Reflexology, Magnetic Therapy, Naturopathy, Reiki, ESP, Herbal/ Kitchen remedies, Mantra and Mudras.
She lives in Boston and keeps her interest live in singing, dancing, painting, writing poems and making sculptures.
Visit her at Yog Sadhna.