Ever since the rulers at modern day Indraprastha promulgated to celebrate Yoga day all over the world, we have had a lot of deliberations on it. The overwhelming recognition by the countries across all continents including the rich, the poor, the developing and the developed, cutting across religious lines, silenced the so called national parties who tried to ignite religious passions for political gains.
Politics apart, it became a tool in the hands of my better half who has all along been advocating it as a panacea for controlling obesity to gas trouble, hair loss to snoring as being propagated by the saffron clad, half naked FMCG baron having his kingdom in Himachal Pradesh along with a Nepali national. I didn't not succumb to her compulsion not because I had scant regard for the yoga but I was not very confident myself of being consistent.
In fact, I was initiated to this great art (or is it something else...?) of yoga at the age of five. My eldest brother had just come home from the college hostel. He was doing his degree course. Along with his major subjects, he had learnt yoga too. He was very regular with his yoga early in the mornings. At the age of five, when I had hardly started learning the alphabets and numbers, the yoga poses he was making attracted me. The most impressive ones were the seershasana and the mayoorasana. The first one was impossible to try. But the second one, I tried with some success on the first day. The first step of balancing the whole body on two hands with the elbows pressed on to the lower abdomen and pressing the toes on the ground was achieved without much difficulty. I thought the next step of lifting the feet would also be very easy. As you know, at that age I had no idea about the centre of gravity, fulcrum, etc. I attained the position of the peacock by keeping the weight of the whole body on my two arms and hurriedly lifting the toes with an effort to imitate the mildly lifted tuft of the long tail feathers of the bird. I do not remember how many seconds the pose lasted. There was a thud and my torso landed on the ground like an aircraft with a malfunctioning front landing wheel. I had no idea what had transpired. When I rolled over and got up, my mouth was bleeding profusely. My mother made me open my mouth to discover that two of my top incisors had come off leaving a gaping hole on my upper jaw. I do not remember whether I cried my throat out or for how long. But the untimely attempt on an advanced asana resulted in the precocious loss of my two teeth. Further, the teeth which replaced them were unusually broad similar to ones adored by Bugs Bunny of Disney's world. To cut the story short, I never took courage to try on anything to do with yoga thereafter for a long, long time.
But when I saw that one could do the breathing exercises by sitting on the chair as advocated in chair yoga there started an interest in learning and practising it following the great "better late than never" principle. However I was irregular in practising it. My regular physical activity remained walking. The other day when I walked through the town of Acton MA, where my daughter lives, I saw a bill board "Hot Yoga". After I reached home I searched the net to find out what it was..... it read as follows....
"Hot yoga is a vigorous form of yoga performed in a very warm and humid studio. There are many different types of hot yoga classes . During "........" form of hot yoga , the room is heated approximately to 105 degree F or 40 degree C and has a humidity of 40%.
It is a 90 minutes program and consists of standing and stretching postures. These postures require long, forceful and sustained contractions of all major muscle groups. It is designed to raise your heat and rate of heart beat. It is not recommended for everyone. Check with your doctor before you join.....! "
Naturally , I wondered whether there was something named cold yoga....... And when I searched for it, there it was!
"New fitness concept is a yoga inspired work out done at 60 degree F or16 degree C and two others at still less temperatures.
Would you brave the cold to try yoga on ice in Sweden? Participants can sign up to an Arctic Winter yoga retreat for a long weekend and experience yoga and meditation surrounded by snow and silence of Swedish Lapland....."
My wicked mind did not cease to be active. Yes I found a rhyming yoga too....It was reported to be having the following virtues...
" ...........has been teaching n....d yoga classes in NY and Boston for the past two years. As a founder of a new type of yoga, she touts an inclusive, body-positive space for a diverse clientele, where payment is accepted on sliding scale."
Since I am not very good at reading between the lines, I have reproduced the text as it is...
I did not probe further on the net for any different type of yoga because reproducing the details would not be within the permissible parameters of modesty and decorum.
The great Patanjali who invented yoga would have felt miserable had he been alive today. His name has already been dragged into every product ranging from besan to biscuits and from cosmetics to condoms by the company which registered phenomenal growth in the past five years.......with the blessings of the rulers and the ruled....!
I am really at a loss as how much more of * "dagdha yoga" we will have see and experience in the days to come!
* In Astrology, it means a combination of Thithi and Nakshatra when nothing auspicious can be done. It is neither suitable for journeys nor new ventures...