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Lucknow Times

Kyun Yogaya na?

ANJALI CHANDRA
TIMES NEWS NETWORK SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2004

We discovered Yoga, but it's they who are putting it to fruitful use. Indeed Yoga has become big business in the west, clocking a mammoth $27 billion in annual sales with over 18 million practitioners, according to The Yoga Journal.

Could this be the real reason behind the success of Australian cricketers, particularly, Matthew Hayden who says he just can't do without Yoga? Like the dashing opener, there are several other equally forceful voices vouching for the miraculous powers of Yoga. Madonna swears by it, and so does Michael Jackson. Rakesh Sharma, India's first Astronaut tested (and proved) its efficacy even in the space. Yoga, whether in its contemporary or traditional form, is here to stay.

HOT ‘N' HAPPENING: The traditional meets modern funda never worked better anywhere else. Bung your clients into a sweaty Turkish bath (appropriately covered, of course) heated up to a 105 degrees and make them twist and turn double on music. You shape up while your body sweats out the toxins.

It was a success at the word go, so much so that its founder Bikram Choudhary has opened more than 600 studios propagating his unique form, owns close to 30 cars and boasts of a scintillating clientele including Michael Jackson and Shirley Maclaine. Choudhary, who claims that any person whether young or old will rid himself of all physical ailments by practicing Bikram Yoga, is a student of Bishnu Ghosh, who is the brother of Paramhansa Yogananda (Founder of Self Realisation Fellowship, LA).

The fee for becoming a hot yoga expert, which incidentally has been patented by Choudhary, is an astounding $5,000, but considering his claims that at least two ‘Bikram Yoga' studios open everyday in the US, the students are just waiting to sign up for the classes.

EAST MEETS WEST: All of you enviously eyeing Madonna's frame on music videos as she crooned American pie are in for more surprise. She credits Ashtanga Yoga, made famous by none other than Ashtanga Yoga Guru Sri K Pattabhi Jois, a Karnataka resident, for her perfect figure.

Sri Jois, a disciple of T Krishnamacharya, reinterpreted Ashtanga Yoga as modern day spiritual aerobics, and went onto familiarise the western world with its many advantages. Though based in Mysore, Sri Jois jet sets across the globe with stopovers at New York, Auckland, Chicago, London and Sydney, and his clientele includes the likes of Madonna and Sting.

PERFECT FUTURE: Siddha Yog, according to the Shastras, is taking Yogabhyas to the level of perfection. And by the looks of it, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the Siddha Yoga Guru located at Upstate New York, USA has convinced the high and mighty on the way to attain salvation. According to her, a Siddha Guru is,”a spiritual teacher, a master whose identification with the Supreme self is uninterrupted. The unique quality of a Siddha Guru is her capacity to awaken the spiritual energy in seekers.”

Gurumayi sure has come a long way from Ganeshpuri, Mumbai to Upstate New York and has a client list of Lisa Kudrow, Melanie Griffith, Diana Ross and Isabella Rosselini to support her claims.

 


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