Why you Should Travel to India At Least Once as a Yoga Practitioner
Learning Yoga through online classes has become the new normal for some people in the western world.
We all know: India is the birthplace of Yoga. While Yoga got known to the western world only 100 years back, Yoga is practised in India already for the last 5000 years.
The traditional practise of Yoga is so much more than just Asanas and this holistic Yoga is still lived in India.
I write “lived” and not “practised”, because ultimately Yoga is a form of being- not only for the time on your mat, but throughout your day and entire life.
And exactly that kind of deep rooted Yoga in everyday and all aspects of life you can still experience in India.
All over India we have Ashrams- communities were people live their spirituality together. As a visitor you have the possibility to take part in the Ashram activities and to experience the structured days, which not only include Asana Yoga classes, but also pranayama and meditation, as well as, Jnana, Bhakti and Karma Yoga.
Jnana Yoga is the Yoga of knowledge. In the Ashram you might have time for self-study of Yoga philosophy, lectures on Yoga philosophy or discuss the knowledge of Yoga in a Satsang (get together) with the Guru, the spiritual teacher and leader of the Ashram community.
Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of devotion through ceremonies and mantra chanting. In many Ashrams there are fire ceremonies in the morning and evening, you will experience mantra chanting as well as Kirtan singing to deeply connect to the cosmic divine inside yourself and in the whole universe.
Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Selfless Action. Brooming the Yoga hall, helping in the kitchen or Ashram Garden, teaching other Ashram members in Yoga, English etc., if you do these activities without any wish for a beneficial outcome for yourself and be able to be completely concentrated during the action, you practise a very advanced Yoga.
But you can experience Yoga not only in an Indian Ashram, but in all aspects of Life in India.
In the morning you might hear bells ringing and mantra spoken, behind the windows of the people’s house, when they do their own ceremony at home- every Indian household has its own temple.
While visiting a park in India in the morning, you will see elderly men standing in a circle practising Laughing Yoga, women doing a very energetic form of Yoga Asanas and old couples sitting on the bench to do their Pranayama Exercises.