Is Yoga branding is a Service or Commercialisation of Yoga

Refrain from Yoga Branding

Feb 07, 2011 04:02 IST India Infoline News Service

Yoga is not a brand.  It doesn’t belong to any single individual.  It is our culture and tradition.  It is a way of life.  It is an art of righteous living or an integrated system for the benefit of the  body, mind and inner spirit.

This art originated, was perfected and practiced in India thousands of years ago. The references to yoga are available in 'Upanishads' and 'Puranas' composed by Indian Aryans in the later Vedic and post- Vedic period. The main credit for systematizing yoga goes to Patanjali who wrote 'Yoga Sutra', two thousand Years ago.

But, he never branded it. Unfortunately today well over 150 Yoga Brands exist all over the world. It is very confusing. So Yoga preachers, trainers and masters were urged to keep off from Branding Yoga.  A Symposium on Yoga was held to this effect in city today at Sundarayya Vignana Bhavan. Where some well speakers speaking on the occasion told every one not to confuse the masses and damage to Yoga with differernt names and nomenclatures. 


The objective of the Symposium of Yoga Preachers, Teachers, Trainers, Gurus, Master was 1. to bring all of them on single plattform and to discourage the practice of branding of Yoga in India and abroad.  Also to work together to play a greater role in the society  and to discourage the alarming practice of branding of Yoga in India and abroad.  

There was a overwhelming response to the Symposium which was attended by well over 500 people comprised of Sudershan Reddy, President of Andhra State Yoga Association, Senior Yoga Practitioners like Balaiah, Pratap Reddy,  Ramchandra Reddy, Raghav Reddy, Prakash Rao, Subba Rao, Suresh Agnihotri and Raja Reddy.  P. Ravi Kishore, President of A.P. Yoga Forum participated as the Special Invitee. 


Organised by Traditional Yoga, a city based NGO in association with Namaste India it was the first of their series of lectures on Yoga and Meditation to be held in city and other places across the country. According to many Yoga Practitioners assembled for the Symposium, Hyderabad has emerged as the Yoga Capital of the country. 

The city boasts of 3 to 5 of its citizens practicing Yoga. Nearly 1000 Yoga Teachers engage them. But, the way Yoga is spreading city requires a minimum of 10,000 Yoga Teachers. And there is a good employment opportunities readily available for these teachers, they opined. 


Welcoming the gathering, Brijbhushan Purohit, President of Namaste India Foundation will preside over the function said .  Yoga is science and it must be made part of the school curriculum.  And advised people not to abuse the Yoga. 


A.L.V. Kumar, a living store house of Yoga and a scientist with Nuclear Fuel Complex  spoke on 'The Trends in Modern Yoga vis-a-vis Ancient'.  It is irony to see foreigners doing Yoga much perfectly than us.  We Indian don’t pay much attention to the pracitce of Yoga.  Where as our foreign counterparts attach lot of importance to practice rather than just preach he said.  I frequently visit lot fo foreign countries for Yoga training. And each time when i see them i envy about them because they do good Asanas than me.  

This gives me an impression that "Is Yoga belong to us or to the West". Unfortunately, many of us consider Yoga as few asanas and yogas.  But, that is not all. Yoga means not mere some monkey postures he said.  


Yoga means "union".  It is a practice that uses posture and breathing technique to induce relaxation and improves strength, and it's health benefits may surpass those of any other activity.  Whatever the reasons you practice yoga, whether it is for relaxations, strech, breathe, mediate or simply it is fashion, you many not realize the numerous health benefits.  Though there are many kinds of Yoga, ranging from Hatha Yoga. Power Yoga, every form of of Yoga improves your health from head to toe said . Kumar. 


From paralysis of the lower body due to a car crash, Kumar completely healed himself with the help of yoga and decided to dedicate himself to teaching of Yoga. He taught Yoga to more than 7500 aspirants through his public workshops in India, Germany and UK. He delivered key note addresses at several International and National Yoga Conferences. He delivered more than 250 talks to the number of corporate companies. 


Stating further Kumar added that Yoga is secular. Even our texts communicate the same.  It doesn’t belong to any single religion. It doesnt promote any religion, Hinduism or Hindu chantings.  Foreigners embraced Yoga more than we Indians have.

Many of the westners have become full time professionals of Yoga.  But, we Indian have still not woken up to the advantages of Yoga, he said.


Speaking on branding of Yoga, Kumar deplored at the current practice of Yoga Branding.  In the recent times we have seen a proliferation of branded styles of Yoga, some named after their founders and others after some yogic word or concept.  Even ashtanga (literally, "eight limbs"), the name Patanjali gave to the practice of yoga, has become a brand name for a particular style of yoga.  

With branded styles of yoga teaching, branded yoga clothing, branded training programs, branded certificates, and branded instructors, present trends suggest that yoga and marketing go hand-in-hand. Is it all required today? he questioned.  Branding is selling one's image or self, rather than offering Yoga as a service.  Yoga today is totally scattered.  It is quite disappointing trend he observed.


Chandrakanth is a much learned Yoga Teacher at Hyderabad Public School who has 32 years of experience spoke on ‘The Science of Pranayama as per ancient Indian Texts.


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