Yoga Retreats Thailand
THE EVOLUTION OF YOGA (A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY)
The Yoga culture, which in the Indian Sanskrit means “divine union”, started in India about 5000 years ago, and as a tradition, it was practiced as a sacred bond existing between a student and a guru – a relationship known as guru-shishya paramparya. It’s my delight to see that this practice still exists at Agama, and I am proud to be able to partake in it. While Yoga, in this age, is often described as a scientific system and way of life that enhances our well-being, truth be told, it has stayed alive globally because there is more to it than the philosophy we are mostly familiar with. Adopted as a practice en masse anno 2016, the spread of Yoga and the many different forms it takes has made it a global practice.
Since the awakening of the Western culture to Yoga in the 1970’s, its growth trend has been very fast. Now, there is hardly a city you visit where you won’t find a Yoga studio, not to talk of the hundred in the big world cities like Los Angeles, New York, London, San Francisco, Boulder, Bangkok, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Paris to name a few. Research by the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal (Yoga in America Study, 2016), has shown how Yoga has grown to become a billion dollar/year industry, with a minimum of 36 million people in the act in the United States alone. Commercially, it is seen as a fashionable lifestyle with special wears and luxury. However, there is a shift in the focus of today’s Yoga, as it now lacks the completeness of the austerity, or tapas, which is the central essence of authentic Yoga practice. Only a simple loincloth was enough for the original Yoga practice, and people embraced simple living to stay focused on personal refinement, clarity, and ultimately Samadhi. Nevertheless, irrespective of what draws people to the practice of Yoga and their reasons for sticking to the act, Yoga in itself is a doorway to something greater than expected, something that’s more than pleasing to the eye. Yoga keeps attracting people from all walks of life in their diverse backgrounds, religions, and lifestyles, and its philosophy continues to lead people to redefine spirituality in the West. Yoga has a lot to give and people get involved in the practice for many reasons including calmness, health, better breathing, to cultivate consciousness/awareness/mindfulness, weight management, more flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning, improved circulation, mental growth, pain relief, stress relief, inner peace, wellness, vitality, peace of mind, healing and many more. Yoga, according to its root word, is uniting the world, and therefore fulfilling its purpose. Its growing popularity has also led to the growth of organizations (e.g. Yoga Alliance, Yoga Federation), retreats, schools, festivals and studios around the world, uniting Yoga teachers and practitioners together.
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