Inculcating yoga as part of everyday life

| | in Oped

It is encouraging that developed nations have internalised yoga in a systematic manner. However, India has made much delay in making yoga a part of the Indian way of life. We must make yoga a part of our life as it can work as an elixir for an integrated growth of human personality

The world is heading from a miserable to a far more miserable state due to excess greed. Cross-border terrorism, trade barriers, talent poaching, wanton destruction of nature, proxy wars for selling weapons, controlling developing nations’ natural resources through proxy rulers, fraudulent means to erode

banking assets and releasing harmful virus to increase the sale of vaccines etc, show the progressive degeneration of the so-called civilised global community.

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, after the Lehman’s Brothers’ collapse in 2008, said that greed is the reason for the collapse of the financial sector. The main reason for deaths, diseases, destruction and hunger is psychological in nature which can be addressed by yoga.

Indeed, yoga can work as an elixir for an integrated growth of human personality, who are the one’s responsible to put the human civilisation back on the track. India  is a country which is known for its ancient civilisational ethos of vasudhaiva kutumbakam. It is a country where a hungry child lovingly shares his bread with a hungry street dog. But today, it has shed much of its finer human emotion: Love, fellow feelings, pity and valour.  The country’s inherent problem is not with the lack of resources but with deliverance. And deliverance comes when mind and body works in harmony to return to the society its due.

To this end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong public appeal has made International Yoga Day a roaring success. His appeal has gone beyond caste, creed and religion, to bind people in yoga sutra.  Even soldiers at Kargil and Navy personnel in deep sea performed yoga on International Yoga Day which was celebrated this year on June 21. 

However, despite the nation-wide celebration, the number of yoga practitioners has not gone up. Majority of schools, offices and colleges, which had rolled out the mat to practice yoga on the International Yoga day, have never done it again after the event. This is the difference between Indians and people living in Western countries. It is the degree of honesty, discipline and commitment that differentiate developing nations from the developed nations.

Yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, has worked relentlessly to inspire millions of people across the world to do yoga and pranayama every day. He has proved that yoga and Ayurveda can not only increase productivity but it can also generate revenue and employment.

Over the years, the spiritual product, yoga, has become the most sought after commodity in the global market. Today, around 70,000 teachers in North America instruct yoga to an estimated 30 million people.

The demand for yoga studios across the world is so high that it has become the hot pursuit of commercial real-estate giants. In the corporate world too, yoga has been recognised as an effective stress management tool and an elixir for enhancing productivity.

In the US, corporate yoga practice is growing faster than shopping malls. Government organisations, police departments, military bases, therapists, both mental and physical, school teachers and even the media people are the main target groups for yoga.

Yoga instructors are as expensive as a management graduate, earning $100 to $150 per class (usually for an hour) per person. The income increases manifold in the corporate environment.

According to a market survey by a yoga journal, yoga has now become a $30-billion business in the US, including accessories, equipment, yoga guides and DVDs. An average yoga practitioner in the US spends around $1,500 every year. Americans spend $2.95 billion a year on yoga classes and products.

According to the study, 7.5 per cent of American adults practice yoga every year. Further, the survey states that one in seven non-practitioners in the US is interested in practicing yoga within the next two years. Also, the number of yoga practitioners increased by 53 per cent from 2006 to 2016 in the US. It is estimated to grow at 50 per cent per annum in the next five years.

On the other hand, in Asia, yoga has become a booming business. In at least 20 countries,  it has grown to $800 million business size. It has become a national craze in Singapore.

According to a survey by the Singapore Sport Council, some 55,000 people practised yoga out of the island-nation’s four million population. The number has crossed thee lakh today. growing pollution levels in urban centres in Asian countries let people take to yoga for healthy life.

European countries take special interest in yoga to increase productivity. Today, every small urban center in Germany has a yoga school. Simultaneously, growing interest for yoga among the world community has opened up opportunities for Indian  yoga instructors to work in foreign countries.

It is a good sign that people world over are striving to counter the aggressive robotisation of human life. India can have quality yoga universities in ancient cities like Ujjain, Puri, Ayodhya, Leh Ladakh and Bellur or any other suitable place to meet the global demand for yoga teachers.

When the developed nations have already internalised yoga in a systematic manner, India has made much delay in making yoga a part of Indian way of life.

(The writer is a freelance commentator)

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