Yoga has become a fad the world over. You or someone you know is probably attending a yoga class. Right?
But, how many know whether their yoga teachers are actually qualified? Yes, a yoga teacher needs to be properly trained. This sometimes involves months of initial training, but years of work with a guru. A yoga teacher should not just have done a weekend or week class somewhere before starting his/her own class.
Many people are not aware that yoga is actually a science. It does not only involve body exercises. It encompasses wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is not meant to make a person lose weight. Neither is it meant to be done in fancy gym outfits. If that’s what you’re doing yoga for, then I’m afraid you’ve got it all wrong. You’re also being disrespectful to an ancient Indian knowledge that is now recognized by the United Nations as an intangible cultural heritage.
If your teacher/trainer has not done a proper yoga course with a legitimate guru then I’m sorry to say, but you could be doing yourself considerable harm. Fly by night yoga studios, trainers and teachers are popping up everywhere these days. But did you know that this is no longer allowed in the US? People must now have proper credentials before they can teach yoga.
That’s because if yoga is done incorrectly it can actually cause more damage to your body than good. If you have been attending yoga class and find that you are now aching, then my friend, you have a teacher who knows not what he/she is doing.
Yoga postures are called asanas. These must be done in a certain way for them to be most beneficial. If they’re randomly chosen according to a teacher’s liking then it will definitely spell trouble for your body down the line.
If your teacher does not mention even one word of Sanskrit during a class – aside from Namaste of course – then he/she hasn’t learnt yoga by a proper guru. Naming asanas as dog pose, tree pose etc has become common. But if someone trained in yoga wholly is teaching it, he/she will not revert to such words or names as he/she will understand the importance of doing yoga correctly.
Asanas are only a tiny percentage of yoga. Yoga as a whole includes asanas, meditations, sadhanas and a whole lot more. Yoga is meant to give you a complete balance in life.
There is nothing wrong with doing yoga. But there is definitely something wrong with taking people’s growing appetite for wellbeing, exploiting it and then attempting to do classes without the necessary knowledge, just to make a few extra bucks.
Find out from your teachers where they studied, how wide is their knowledge of yoga and test their knowledge of asanas. If your teacher does not even practice meditation but is busy teaching yoga, then you’re in the wrong place and may be on the road to causing considerable damage to yourself.
Lastly, respect for the ancient knowledge, its origins and its torch bearers are vital. If one is merely doing asanas without being aware of any of these, then the point of yoga has been lost on such a person.