Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Yoga In America?

Yoga does not seem to command the same form of respect from modern day society as it once did in the past. The real meaning of this ancient concept has been inundated by the quick-fix approach mentality of the modern day globalization. The ancient art of yoga has been represented as a simple concept to help people gain a better understanding of the overall philosophy. Yoga in its true form may be a little complicated for the western world to understand. It is a very dangerous and unethical to merely dabble on the surface and then talks about this subject as an expert! Yoga is often viewed as a physical journey, instead of a spiritual one in the western part of the world. It is represented as a physical activity that is directed towards the achievement of inner balance and meditative states of mind.

It originates from the Hindu religion and it is actually a part of the Hindu philosophy. In India, yoga is considered a very spiritual experience that has a physical aspect to it. But the western world prefers to refer yoga as a mere physical practice. Yoga with its strange looking symbols may seem mystical to the average Joe, is often enough to perk up a considerable level of interest in the hidden aspects of this ancient practice, but sadly, they are often misunderstood. Operating from the wrong paradigm, yoga became a form of sports in the western world. It also does a good job attracting those who wish to obtain inner peace and balance in the midst of the hectic modern lifestyle.

Disciples of yoga are often fascinated by the claims made by their yoga instructors. Outside of India, that there is a high level of misunderstanding of its true nature, hence the monumental amount of mistakes that can be found in its implementation. Closer observation reveals that the unique culture of each race has dramatically influenced the way yoga is practiced. Apparently, the west is not prepared to spend too much time in meaningful contemplations of this philosophy, hence the resulting fatal error due to a lack of understanding. For instance, meditation is the crux of this philosophy but busy Americans do not possess the time to spend in a few hours of relative sessions every day. The west seems obsessed with the desire to accumulate massive amounts of wealth and gaining power, which is a priority according the principles of Hinduism. Unless these values are changed, it is impossible for westerners to achieve the true wisdom and enlightenment as defined by the parameters of the Hindu religion. Patience and time is crucial for meditation. The westerners do not view investment in such contemplative moments for the attainment of philosophical wisdom to be beneficial.

Here, yoga as been practiced by those who desire to look good and stay in style. There are plenty of materials promoting it as a form of sports; you can practice yoga anywhere and anytime you want. Fans of famous people who later become fake gurus are adamant about supporting their idol and his practice. Obedient disciples of this distorted form of yoga have become agents of growth of this unhealthy philosophy.

By: Sam Nickel

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