How the west influenced yoga: the good and the bad

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October 14, 2017
Ashtanga Yoga Myths & facts
October 14, 2017

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj which means the amalgamation of the person’s alertness or soul with the Spirit or the Universal Perception. Many have the perception that yoga is only concerned with a physical exercise including twist and turns, stretch and breath in the most composite way. But, these all are found to be the most superficial thinking as it is realized that yoga is a profound science of utilizing the infinite human mind, potential, and soul. Yoga imbibes pure essence in the way of living.

Some practitioners of yoga endorse that yoga is mostly dominated by only postural practices in the western world. Many argue that the way of yoga practicing in the western manifestation has totally differs the Indian traditional yoga. The difference and the inclination of western culture towards yoga is the main reason that west has influenced yoga in both the good and the bad way.

Because of many factors and actions, it is certainly having the fact that the majority of the world was ruled by the western nations being one of the reasons of its influence over different aspects of the people living over there, including the way of practicing yoga also. Although the West focuses primarily over the physical form, it has restricted the definition of the Eastern form to a distinct series of postures and activities. The Western yoga has a great synonymous with the practice of asana (posture).

Yoga originated on the Indian subcontinent over five thousand years ago, described as meditative discipline integrating both physical and mental practices having the ultimate goal of attaining pure consciousness. Yet, the Western writing offers no evidence of the “Yogic experience” acquired by imposing such alteration of the mind.

Despite of weaved international plasticity in yogic tradition, blaming the Western world is very much trending nowadays. The use of different chemicals in shaping the body is actually not the practice included in the yogic practices that are used by some of the Western countries. The West has adopted the practice of doing yoga from the East. Perhaps it is not that America has tainted yogic traditions rather it has kept them alive by inspiring them to fit once need.

Today, U.S has large numbers of yoga practitioners on comparing with the other countries and hence many critics point on evidence that there is a great misuse of the tradition of yoga rather than exercising it for mindfulness and spirituality. Critics claim that maybe asana-focused American yoga is not authentic.

Transforming yoga from an activity of liberating the mind from cultural domination to the one realized to be the importance of energizing the body. The transformation is normally due to the involvement of the technology and automation in the current sedentary lifestyle. With all of these influences along with the cultural influence, it is being categorized whether the Western influence over yoga is good or bad.

Paradoxically, where the rest of the world is striving to adopt the fast-paced western culture lifestyle, the Western culture emerges to adopt the tranquil practice of yoga from East. The yoga bang has served a space for controversial debates including the fact of manifestation of yoga and the influence of west on comparing with the traditional yoga practice.

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