During the five-day DSC Jaipur Literature Festival at Diggi Palace in Jaipur, which began on January 24, a panel discussion session on the 'Roots of Yoga' was held in which David White, James Mallinson, Mark Singleton and Birad Rajaram Yaginik took part. The experts shared their views about yoga being more a spiritual form of activity and less a physical exercise.
According to the organizers, Yoga has taken the world
by storm and is one of India’s most universal exports. "But how ancient, and how authentic, is its modern form as practiced in gyms around the globe?" informed the brochure stressing the need for discussing its authenticity.
According to Birad, Yoga was a flexible practice and has great ability to bring about change among the practitioners. Over the years, Yoga has evolved differently in different countries. "Yoga is different in India
and different in other countries like in America or Australia,” he said adding that it evolved in India and moved to and got adapted to different parts of the world.
In the session, the following main points were made on Yoga.
- Yoga does not belong to a particular country or a particular religion since its roots are more spiritual
- Yoga is not a physical activity; it is more a spiritual one which keeps mind and body at peace.
- Popularity of Bhakti Yoga in America is on the increase
- Yoga has grown around the world and will not take a step back
It is widely believed that Hindu monks, beginning with Swami Vivekananda, brought yoga to the West in the late 19th century but has become popular as a physical system of health exercises in the West and it has been commercialized.
However, the authentic yoga is one which spiritualizes an individual. The authentic yoga is based on the principles of Patanjali's "Ashtanga Yoga" derived from the 29th Sutra of his second book.