Sanskrit pontification in yoga classes

The emotion behind this article was relevant the day I came out of THAT yoga class and it is relevant, even today. Why can the Yoga teachers not learn… A smattering of Sanskrit language does not make them better teachers…

Sanskrit was the language BUT unfortunately, is fast losing its hold NOW

Yoga is an integral part of Hindu religion. When one says Hindu religion, one does not speak about the Hindu religion that saw its revival during 15-18th century but of a Vedic period. A time when Sanskrit was the dominant language hence you can feel and read the influences of Sanskrit on Yoga. The mantras and instructions for the yoga were coded in Sanskrit.

Though there have been translations into the vernacular, Sanskrit has remained strongly associated with Yoga. The association would not have been an issue had Sanskrit remained the flavor of all languages, unfortunately, time – the cruel master has made Sanskrit obsolete.

Life is a continuous flow. Nothing is permanent…

As a matter of fact, out of more than 1.25 Billion plus of India’s population, only 14,135 call Sanskrit their native language. (Census 2001).

Please let go of pseudo perfectionism

The near annihilation of Sanskrit has given rise to a trend wherein any Yogi pontificating in Sanskrit is instantly regarded as the 24 Karat pure motherload of knowledge.

Quickly realizing the benefits, the yoga teachers have begun to use Sanskrit in their classes. But is Sanskrit really necessary to learn yoga? Would Yoga become less of a yoga if all you know were just “Om” and/or “Namah”?

The wonder of Yoga is – Though a structured flow… it is flexible.

Hence, we have Hatha Yoga, Patanjali Yoga and Kundalini yoga etc – all with the objective of attaining the elevation of mind. So let go of perfectionism. A perfect yoga does not require a knowledge of Sanskrit. The right pose, correct breathing technique etc. is sufficient.

When in Rome, be Roman

Trikona asana or Vashishta asana may slip out of your tongue glibly, remember the hapless students who are not in the know-how of Sanskrit. Instead of such quaint words using normal words like Triangle pose or Side plank may lead to greater understanding . After all, when in Rome, be Roman. There is no point in using Sanskrit when the receptor is not tuned into your wavelength.

Adaptation is the Key

Om Mitraaya Namaha
Om Ravaye Namaha
Om Suryaya Namaha
Om Bhaanave Namaha
Om Khagaya Namaha
Om Pooshne Namaha
Om Hiranyagarbhaaya Namaha
Om Mareechaye Namaha
Om Aadityaaya Namaha
Om Savitre Namaha
Om Aarkaaya Namaha
Om Bhaaskaraya Namaha

This is the basic Mantra for Sun Salutations

In the present day 21st century, how many are aware of this mantra let alone chanting it with correct intonation?. Imagine, a punk mouthing Bieber chanting this. The poor, ignorant soul may probably end up saying, “Yeh dil maange more, ah- ha!” Ouch!

Yoga is much more than just a few Shlokas

Yoga is primarily sharpening of mind, creating heightened awareness of senses, centering the inner chakras and elevating your mind and body for an exalted feeling. One needs this to be a process of day to day living, a strong focus and will to achieve this state.

Teachers… Instead of insisting on uttering Sanskrit and thoroughly confusing the individuals, let’s adapt to the change and blend with the changing world.
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