Some pictures of people practicing Yoga – Celebrating the International Yoga Day
June 21st is International Yoga day and India has reasons to cheer up for the same. As Yoga originated in India and with help of various evangelist today is most popular form of exercise practiced by millions of people worldwide.
From Bareily to Brazil from Nanded to New York from Ram Nagar to Russia you will find people practicing yoga every day. For yoga is considered to be the only form of exercise that nurtures your mind body and soul.
While the sutras that govern various asanas or poses / postures of Yoga were formulated hundreds of years ago by Yogis in India in modern times it has evolved in various forms some of them marketing gimmicks and some of them are needed for the specific people or circumstances. While a lot of people think that Yoga is practiced more in India it is in western countries now a days that you see various forms of Yoga being practiced.
Now the purist may question if these various offshoots can be termed as Yoga or not, but my thinking is if the folks practicing it are happy to call it Yoga who are you and me to oppose ?
But like everything else we are a country that loves controversy or two. Our super smart politicians have politicized Yoga also and all kind of remarks in favor and opposition of Yoga are floating around. Somebody is opposing Yoga somebody is opposing Surya Namaskar ( Saluting Sun), while others are recommending Ocean Therapy to those opposed to Surya Namaskar.
But as desi Traveler is your friendly neighborhood travel blog from India and as a policy, I stick to travel related posts so dear readers I am giving you here some pictures of people practicing Yoga in various parts of India.
The first picture here is of a man practicing Yoga on the Benaras Ghats early morning, to be more precise on the Assi Ghat. He was in a traditional loincloth known as Langot ( लंगोट ) and without a worry about the world around him did his warm up and then started doing his asanas. This is when I clicked him as I wanted to click not only him but also the early morning fog and people on the Assi Ghat in Varanasi.
BTW please do check, like and share my post on Evening Aarti in Varanasi
The second picture is also from one of the Ghats in Varanasi and I like this picture for two reasons one because this Yogini was silently observing the world passing by her in the holy Ganges. She must have been there for more than an hours while I moved around various ghats to click pictures, and she was still there in the exactly same pose as I have left her earlier. The other reason is this elderly gentleman who was doing offering water to Sun. ( Pls note this is not Surya Namaskar picture )
From Sun worship and Yoga on the Ghats of Varanasi let us move to the beaches in Kerala. While mostly my focus on Kerala beaches was to click Sunsets, on the few mornings I was on beaches I always got some good shots.
Check my picture that got printed in Better Photography Magazine that I clicked on a beach in Kerala.
These guys performing Sheershashan were clicked on the Kollam Beach, early morning. While the guy in front is practicing Sheershaan the folks in the background seem to meditate silently.
Now if you know your Yoga properly you will recall that Lord Shiva is considered to be the Adi Yogi or the first Yogi. So technically we can say that Lord Shiva was the first one to practice yoga. But lord Shiva is also known for his dance both in its benign form as well as the dance of destruction the Tandav. So it will not be wrong to say that Indian Classical Dance forms may have evolved from a fusion of music and Yoga. Think about it and next time you are watching an energetic dance form like Mohiniattam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi or Chau notice the movements and the energy and synchronization required to make those dance moves. Then notice the pearl beads on the foreheads of the performers even in air-conditioned auditorium.
Hence proved Classical Indian Dance are also related to yoga. So I give you my next picture of this danseuse whom I clicked at Kerala Kalamandalam or the school of dance and music in Thrissur Kerala.
From the balmy Kerala let us go to the high Himalayas in Kumaun, Uttarakhand, where I clicked this picture of my friend Betsy, who is a Professor at a University in the high Himalayas and was kind enough to allow me to click her pictures.
These are only pictures from India and a small collection of pictures I have of people practicing Yoga. As you can see from highly educated American Professor to a loin cloth clad Yogi, folks are practicing Yoga everywhere, from beaches to high Himalayas.
Yoga crossed Indian borders ages ago, today It is taking India to the world and bringing the world to India, for every year thousands of people who are suffering from various ailments from back pain to allergies visit India to practice Yoga in one of the various Yoga Schools and Ashrams. While some of the Ashrams are only Yoga Centers the better ones combine Ayurveda and Yoga to give a more holistic treatment.
So is Yoga for you ? Well, the better question is are You For Yoga ? The only way to find is to go out and find a teacher who will help you unlock the secrets of this thousand of year old gem that has only got better with age. As more and more people adapt Yoga, Yoga is evolving and adapting to their needs. So today you have classes for Pregnant women, senior citizens, athletes etc. Take your pick & decide what will work for you and go ahead take the plunge. You have nothing but your aches and sprains to lose.
Wishing all the readers of desi Traveler – A very happy International Yoga Day, June 21st. Let us do some asanas, with or without Langot 🙂
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