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The Yogis and Yoga I knew
Baba Ramdev was born to Shri Ram Yadav and Smt Gulabo Devi at Said Alipur village, Mahendrarh, Haryana in 1965 and that makes him seen fifty one summers so far. In this short life he had already added many feathers to his cap. He became Sanyasi in an early age and began to offer free yoga training to villagers for some time in Jind district.

He is now the greatest proponent of commercial Yoga in the country. However, he preferred the title Baba instead of Yogi. Inadvertently or uncannily he left that title of Yogi Aditynath. Baba Ramdev could also cast a genuine claim to be a Doctorate as he had been awarded the Honorary Doctorate by Kalinga Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar. In the traditions of humility he is shunning that accolade so far.

Yoga was originated in India in 1900 BC Yoga. It literally means 'to unite' or 'to join' with the Yuj which stands for 'root.' Panini has included Yujir to it in 6th century which brings it near to practicality of harnessing or 'to yoke.'

In Sanskrit it is often referred as mood of 'zeal' and 'diligence.' Yoga means connection, application and performance. There are various branches of Yoga like 'Bhakti yoga' which implies devoted attachment; 'Guna yoga' stands for 'contact with chord'; 'Chandra Yoga' describes astronomical concepts of conjunction of the moon with a constellation. The compound meaning of different types of Yoga which one could be summed up as 'philosophy of yoga' is the 'union of individual with the Supreme.'

Yoga is a practice to concentrate till the mind is well established in the object of concentration. When the mind runs away from the object of concentration, bring it back again and again to the object. Lord Krishna says in the Gita: "Yato yato nischarati manas-chanchalam-asthiram, Tatastato niyamyaitad-atmanyeva vasam nayet- As often as the wavering and unsteady mind goes forth, so often reining it in, let him bring it under the control of the Self."

If you want to increase your power of concentration, you will have to reduce your worldly activities (Vyavahara-Kshaya). You will have to observe Mouna (vow of silence) also for two hours daily. A man whose mind is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires can hardly concentrate on any object even for a second. His mind will be jumping like a balloon. Regulate and master the breath. Subdue the senses and fix the mind on any pleasing object. Associate the ideas of holiness and purity with the object.

I would invite the readers to read the following news in light of Lord Krishna's advice:

"BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, who is being seen as a ministerial candidate in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has accused Mother Teresa of being part of a "conspiracy to Christianise India". Speaking at a religious meeting in Basti on Saturday, Yogi Adityanath said: "Mother Teresa was part of a conspiracy to convert Hindus to Christianity. Hindus were targeted in the name of doing service and then converted by her. You are in a majority here so you do not know the conditions that Hindus face in North East. You should go and see the situation to realise what is happening. Dalits are our brothers but some of us do not embrace them like brothers. But when they go away and become Christians, some of us take pride in associating with them. This should stop. What I had to say I have said. What's the problem with my speech? We have to strengthen the path for Ram Mandir construction. We must move together on this. Who can stop you from building it? When nobody could stop us from demolishing the mosque, then who can stop us from constructing the temple there? Construction of the temple will happen now."

This scribe is not competent to plumb the teachings of these two great seers so I would like to mention a lesser known Yoga Guru who is not so popular in India for some unknown reasons. His name is Larry Shultz and I got to know him through an American Friend who was a volunteer of the organization "Children of God." COG has now changed its name to'The Family International.' It was formed as Christian Missionary. Like religious movement in 1968 in California, he used to talk a lot of Larry Shultz and his new invention in the realm of Yoga. Tight schedules of company and demands of the job allowed no time to know more about them or Larry Shultz but the activities of Shultz were seen in glossy tabloids.

Larry Schultz was born in 1950 and that makes him almost 15 years senior in this world to Baba Ramdev. He was famous for his inventions of 'Power Yoga' and 'Rocket Yoga.' He lived in Texas in 1970's and 80's and worked as Sales Manager in a bank before he was attracted towards Yoga.

Larry Schultz met with K. Pattabhi Jois in 1982 continued to study under this Guru for the next 7 years in India and the USA. K. Pattabhi Jois was an Indian yoga teacher who had developed the popular 'Vinyasa Style' of yoga referred to as Ashtanga Yoga. In 1948, Guru Jois had established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore.

After Shultz's return to America, he followed his Guru's traditions and started to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (AVS) from his home in Potreo Hill. Schultz flouted some of his Guru's Asanas (Poses) and preached a modified version of AVS in which each of his classes incorporated poses from all 3 of the traditional Ashtanga Series with all students welcome to try all poses. Many traditional Yoga Gurus declared him "The Bad Man of Ashtanga Yoga."

Power and Rocket Yogas are a sweat - producing, muscle building exercise in peace. It is an intense aerobic workout.

In 1991 Schultz created a promotional package that was called "90 days for 90 dollars" at San Francisco. From this new form he graduated to another level and introduced 'Rocket Yoga' that helps to raise the energy levels faster. Larry Shultz died of natural death on Feb 27, 2011 in Toledo, Ohio.

"There is nothing more satisfying to me as a teacher than to watch the glow with which people arise from Savasana. Often people walk into Yoga with worry, stress and tiredness written all over their faces but when they leave, they show the effects of Ashtanga Yoga: they feel better and look better, lighter, freer, more relaxed and energized. This is why to me, teaching Ashtanga Yoga is a kind of self-realization; every time I lead a class, I as a teacher, grow and express the insights of my own yoga. I see people take in the practice from various angles and develop, change and transcend their limitations, realize their possibilities." - Larry Schultz, Yoga Dragonden Blog: In Memoriam: Larry Schultz 1950-2011, Feb 19, 2010.

Our Baba Ramdev has been more dynamic as he jumped from Yoga to Black Money to Aata Noodles. Often he had to eat his words when he would suggest a possibility of some heads to be chopped. However, if compared in intensity and vitriol that puts up a dangerous facade of Hindutva of Yogi Adityanath, he is more sophisticated and careful. He is firm believer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sincerity, devotion and competence. He feels Modji will bring the Black Money back into the country.

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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