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Need to imbibe yoga in letter and spirit instead of turning it into a gimmick
Currently, yoga is being popularised as a physical exercise through asanas for health reasons. In yoga, asanas are often referred to as "yoga postures" through body movement. At the most, they are seen as ways of placing the body in certain positions so as to cultivate physical strength, awareness, relaxation and concentration.

The meditative and spiritual aspects of yoga have taken a back seat. Asanas are also being done in an imitative way as physical movements in combination with pranayama or breathing techniques.

Benefits of asanas have been reported to improve flexibility, balance, strength, physical health, obstructive pulmonary condition, diabetes management, blood circulation, etc.

Regular practice of asanas has been reported to have reduced stress, anxiety, sleep disturbance, lower back pain, hypertension and weight. The claims have also been made that yoga during pregnancy helps in shortening labour and improving birth outcomes.

Unfortunately, yoga has also attracted commercial interests. Yoga asana training in many parts of the world has become a commercial venture by turning the practice to body shows and gimmicks of aesthetic yoga in special costumes with glamour added to it.

There is a need to understand yoga in a holistic sense before getting into its practice instead of doing it blindingly.

Here is my acrostic on Yoga and an ABC verse to clarify the concept of Yoga.

An acrostic on Yoga

Y: 'Yuj' is the root word meaning 'union' of the individual self with the cosmic self
O: Originated as pre-Vedic Indian tradition about 5000-6000 years ago as a philosophy of life
G: God Shiva is called Adi Yogi who introduced the concept with ultimate goal of Yoga as moksha
A: Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali systematized it as practice and knowledge area to unify body, mind and self

ABC verse on Yoga

A: Attaining the ultimate aim of life – liberation – through union of body, mind and spirit
B: Being enlightened through let go and detached action
C: Controlling body and mind through techniques of body postures and regulated breathing
D: Developing self-observation, meta-cognition through meditation to dispel darkness of ego and for self-realization
E: Expansion of consciousness to become one with cosmic consciousness

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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