Let’s Return To Real Yoga

by Renu Gulati September 16, 2020

Let’s end non-Indian organisations’ near monopoly of giving accreditation to yoga schools and restore the concept of unity which yoga teaches us, says Renu Gulati.

Most yoga schools are turning to non-Indian organisations for accreditation. These organisations charge high fees and offer little by way of quality control. Strangely, most yoga schools in the capital of yoga, Rishikesh, are accredited by non-Indian organisations. Ironically, India is paying other countries for a science developed in India. This makes no sense at all.

India is said to be developing its own accreditation system but this is taking time. The question is when this happens, how many people in the world will use it? How many insurance companies will accept its value and offer insurance based on it?

Why should yoga which is holistic be trapped and captured like this? The core values of yoga include non-violence, truth, non-greed and non-theft. Are these values being followed by foreign organisations?

The difficulty is that we need quality control and a yoga teacher cannot be produced in 300 or 500 hours. It is a way of life entrenched in mental hygiene and not gymnastics. The traditional way in India was to sit with a master and be trained over a long period of time, thereby learning and refining your mind and body.

Today’s yoga does not do that in the main. What is the solution? How do we ensure quality control without a country monopolising yoga? Perhaps we could have a global summit whereby all countries come together and create a quality control system and each country has the power to accredit based on the global body’s recommendations.

Yoga is a universal science, not one to be coveted or abused. Its motivation is unity, non-violence, sharing, caring and integrity. I could say India should have the monopoly because yoga came out of India. However, that would go against the non-coveting principles of Yoga.

I know there are many so-called variations in the asana practices, for example Hath to Vinyasa to Iyengar. When I asked my yoga master what type of yoga  should one do, he just laughed and said ‘yoga’. I was a bit taken aback, so I kept my mouth shut and reflected. Yoga comes from the root word in Sanskrit Yuj which means to unite. Yoga is therefore unity. Of course there can be unity in diversity. We are not living in a monotone world.

To conclude, a global yoga teachers’ training accreditation body needs to be formed and the details of the diversity can be handled by them. India would probably have more representatives, as I believe there are more genuine yoga teachers here. Wherever the training is done that country should benefit financially and perhaps India could receive a percentage from the global earnings as Indians would most likely be contributing the most. Would it not be ideal if the profits earned by the global yoga regulatory body were donated to a charitable cause? That would be real yoga ―  service with unity.

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