Yoga has been an intrinsic part of India’s health sciences. It is a 5000-year old remedy that provides a holistic approach to mental and physical well being. This mind-body intervention practice has gained recognition and popularity worldwide and now even the western culture has acknowledged the health benefits of Yoga. In November 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested 21st June to be celebrated as International Yoga Day. And ever since then, 21st June is observed as International Yoga Day. Today, it marks the third anniversary of International Day of Yoga. While India is taking a step ahead in the field of alternative healing techniques, let’s remember some of the greatest Yoga Gurus of India of all times.
He is known as the ‘Father of Modern Yoga’. He is popularly known for being the architect of vinyasa and he’s also the mind behind the revival of ‘Hatha Yoga’. He has both the knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga, and has mixed them proportionately to restore health. He is said to have control over his heartbeat and is believed to have mastered the art of holding his beat as well!
He is a doctor by profession as well as a saint. He was popularly known for his humour. He wrote a song describing the 18 characteristics that a Yogi must have and among them, he placed humour at the top! He taught Yoga of Trinity which is an amalgamation of Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga and Master Yoga.
B K S Iyengar
He is one of the earliest students of T Krishnamacharya. He is the man behind popularising yoga abroad. Since childhood, he battled with number of diseases which left him week and feeble. Then he resorted to Yoga. He redefined Patanjali’s yoga sutras and finally gifted the ‘Iyengar Yoga’ to the world. He left the world at an age of 95, but even at that age he was able to perform sirsaasana for half an hour.
K Pattabhi Jois
His type of Yoga is known as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga or simply Ashtanga Yoga. It is based on an ancient text called Yoga Korunta. This yoga helped many popular celebrities, including both Bollywood and Hollywood, to achieve their perfect shape. For example, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kareena Kapoor.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
He has perfected in transcendental meditation technique which attracted the popular American band Beatles. It is a form of mantra meditation which is practiced with closed eyes.
He introduced the technique of Kriya Yoga in the West. His form of Yoga emphasises on uniting with the infinite through a certain action known as Kriya.
His mass Yoga camps have brought the Yoga back to the mainstream. His watch and practice TV programmes have encouraged the masses to practice Yoga in the comfort zone of one’s home.