Eastern and Western World Yoga

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Yoga is an ancient tradition of uniting mind, body, and soul. This practice of uniting or connecting all three parts leads to a complete yogic lifestyle. Hatha Yoga texts emerged in the Eastern world around the 11th century. The Eastern culture of yoga is very peaceful and consist of a yoga practice that comes from within rather than the Western style’s idea of an outside workout routine. Hot yoga is something that the Western world created, since yoga has been developing in the Western world since the 1980’s. India is already hot, therefore no need to heat an indoor room to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yoga has become a big trend for the Western world over the past couple years. This is great that so many people want to become a part of this yogic culture. The idea of a hot vinyasa class derives from the British occupy of India. Before the British came to India, yoga practice was relaxed, slow, and the ultimate goal was to unite the mind, body, and spirit as one. It feels good to attend a hot vinyasa class, as your body sweats a nice detox. I feel that the amount I sweat during a hot yoga class helps clear my skin. This style is a very new twist on the ancient practice of yoga.

Eastern style yoga is a spiritual practice. The Hinduism and Buddhism religions were the original yoga practitioners. Yoga is meant for relaxation of the mind, body, and soul. Meditation is one of the most important parts of a yoga practice. I feel that it is important to understand the reason we practice yoga. It is not some cult trend that ‘hippies’ participate in. This practice of yoga is the process of deeply connecting to one’s true self. To create a connection to your inner being. Yoga is more than the physical body, yoga is the mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual bodies.

I feel that there is a pull between both Eastern and Western style yoga in modern day society. It is ironic that this pull exists because if we go back to the term yoga, it means to unite. As a new age culture and living in America, the melting pot of the world, how can we unite this Eastern yogic practice with the new age Western style? There has to be a balance of accepting old and new. I feel that anyone who wants to be involved in the practice of yoga deserves to understand the origin of yoga. I feel that the studios who offer teacher training need to stress the importance of the original tradition of yoga, for it gives the practice a deeper purpose.

Yoga is a spiritual practice. There is flexibility with this ancient tradition, just as humans have evolved so has this ancient practice of yoga. We need to bring ourselves back to this original idea of acceptance of self. How can we practice yoga with no judgement of ourselves and others? Allow yourself to be grateful that you practice such an ancient tradition. Yoga becomes even more meaningful when we recognize that the practice has existed since the 11th century or even before. You have the honor to participate in an ancient practice of awareness of self and uniting as one. We are so lucky that this tradition has lived on for so long and we are now a part of it!

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