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Yoga in Contemporary India: Northern India

DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI

Banaras Hindu University has been actively involved in Yoga Research, therapy as well as Yoga Education through the Yoga Sadhana Kendra in Malaviya Bhawan. Prof TR Anantharaman who was the director, Institute of Technology, BHU and the president of the Indian Academy of Yoga has contributed immensely to the union of ancient Yoga and Modern science through his literary works and lectures all over India and the world. He now runs the Ashram Atmadeep in Gurgaon near Delhi. Prof Dr KN Udupa who was the professor of surgery and director of the Institute of Medical Sciences and Prof RH Singh the Professor of Kaya Chikitsa have contributed early research works on Yoga that has set a standard for other researchers in the field. Their work in establishing Yoga therapy protocols for various medical disorders is to be highly appreciated. A physicist by training Sri UA Asrani was another scientist who had a great role in the Yoga work at BHU before he settled down in Lucknow. (more…)

Yoga in Contemporary India: Eastern & North-eastern India

Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

Yoga lessons at The Bihar School of Yoga. Photograph – Coni Hörler

EASTERN INDIA

Swami Satyananda and his disciples have put Bihar on the Yoga map with the Bihar School of Yoga that has been a beacon light for the seeker of Yoga. With numerous branches all over the world and Australia in particular, Swami Satyananda built up the Bihar School of Yoga on the back of the Ganges at Munger in the 1960s. A favourite chela of Swami Sivananda, his Bani encompasses the Yoga, Vedanta and Tantric traditions dealing with Yoga as a medium to gain and control the Psychic energies. The signature practice of the BSY is the Yoga Nidra that was developed by Satyananda.  Swami Niranjananda continues the work of his Guru after Swami Satyananda attained Maha Samadhi. The Ashram in the mid period had become a deemed university under the name of Bihar Yoga Bharathi offering masters courses in the science of Yoga but then has changed back due to numerous developments. (more…)

Yoga in Contemporary India: Eastern & Northeastern India

Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

Bihar School of Yoga in Munger. Photography – Coni Hörler

EASTERN INDIA

Swami Satyananda and his disciples have put Bihar on the Yoga map with the Bihar School of Yoga that has been a beacon light for the seeker of Yoga. With numerous branches all over the world and Australia in particular, Swami Satyananda built up the Bihar School of Yoga on the back of the Ganges at Munger in the 1960s. A favourite chela of Swami Sivananda, his Bani encompasses the Yoga, Vedanta and Tantric traditions dealing with Yoga as a medium to gain and control the Psychic energies. The signature practice of the BSY is the Yoga Nidra that was developed by Satyananda.  Swami Niranjananda continues the work of his Guru after Swami Satyananda attained Maha Samdhi. The Ashram in the mid period had become a deemed university under the name of Bihar Yoga Bharathi offering masters courses in the science of Yoga but then has changed back due to numerous developments.

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Yoga in Contemporary India: Central & Western India

Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

CENTRAL INDIA

Sagar University in Madhya Pradesh has been in the forefront of bringing traditional Yoga teachings into the academic setup. A great deal is owed to Dr Joshi who upon deputation by Swami Kuvalayananda went to the university and built up a formidable Yoga department. His work has been continued in later years by Dr Ganesh Shankar who also served as Director of the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy when it was under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In Bhopal Prof SV Rao in the Government Medical College has been an inspirational figure for Yoga Research who as both a physiologist and Yogi propagated a scientific view of Yoga on many platforms. Yogarathna KM Ganguly, a successful businessman turned Yogi has been an example of how Yoga Sadhana can be combined successfully with the material success. Even at a very senior age, his performance of Yogasanas used to put others younger to him by decades to shame.

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Yoga in Contemporary India: Southern India

Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

The Southern Peninsula of India has been the abode of a great many Yoga masters who have made this region their home and sanctified the already holy region. South India escaped the mutilation that befell North India as it was more inaccessible to invaders and the many temples and ancient architectural marvels that are still standing here are a living proof to this truth. It is also seen in the living Vedic culture that still exists south of the Vindayas.

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Fundamentals about the 5 branches of Yoga

Pranayama at Bihar School of Yoga in Munger. Photo Credit: Coni Hörler

BY SUSHANT PANDEY

Yoga is a path; a philosophy to harmonise the interactions and expressions of consciousness and energies in an individual. There are numerous methods and tools employed to reach a state of inner poise, balance and harmony. These interactions of energies and consciousness express onto different layers of existence; creating various dimensions of human functioning and experiences. In our lives, we experience dimension of expressions in the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and behavioural plane. From the grossest level; it is the physical body where both energy and consciousness interact on the plane of gross energies, vitality and senses. Then on subtle plane, we have the expressions of mental energies. The existence of emotional energies makes us experience the emotional dimension of being. And then we do experience more subtle expressions of intellect in the form of clear, detached and refined perspective to life and events. The cumulative interactions of these various energies and consciousness present there result in the outcome of certain behavioural patterns and interaction with the external environment. (more…)

How to Practice Awareness in Yoga

The practice of awareness. Picture Courtesy: Coni Hörler

BY SUSHANT PANDEY

The practice of awareness in Yoga is a continuous process. Discipline of yoga is not restricted to the classroom practice of a set of yogic techniques. It is slow, methodical, requires vigilance, effort, and discipline. In fact, it almost seems too difficult a task and too lofty an ideal to follow, especially in a society that does not make it easy for us to stand back and watch ourselves. When everything is moving at such a frantic pace and so much of our attention is focused on just trying to keep up, how does one internalise the awareness? The answer is to make an active commitment to the betterment of ourselves which means setting aside a certain time that will be dedicated solely to self-reflection. (more…)

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