Yoga philosophy is one of the six systems of Hindu philosophy which exist in India. Unlike so many other philosophies in the world, it is a philosophy that is wholly practical. Yoga is an exact science based on certain immutable laws of nature, according to Sri Swami Sivananda, a yoga practitioner.
Yoga, as a form of exercise, is known to enhance the balance of the mind, body, and spirit. As more and more people strive to get in touch with their most natural states of mind in today"s increasingly artificial world, yoga emerged as the most adequate physical and spiritual activity to bridge the gaps. Yoga literally means "to put a yoke on a horse." In other words, it means union.
City dwellers, exhausted by the hustle of bustle of cars and traffic jams, try to seek peace and harmony of the mind while at the same time working out and strengthening their bodies. Thus is why yoga found its way into modern people"s lives, emerging as a favorite "Sport" among people young and old alike.
"Yoga is a well-balanced sport that does not require complicated equipment, like most other sports. It seems to clear out the dirty air inside me, replacing it with the fresh air that seeps through every muscle and bone of my body. All this after just some simple stretching yoga movements," says a businessman, age 56.
While the yoga boom has succeeded in reaching the older generation, offering them relaxation of the mind and body, the younger generations caught on as well, finding yet other merits to it.
"To be honest, I started yoga because there was so much talk about it in the media. This is my second month of training and I already feel a difference in me. I feel lighter after each training course, and my body feels revitalized instead of feeling exhausted after a difficult work-out at the health club. Also, yoga helps with my diet by stretching the innermost parts of my limbs and muscles, making me much more flexible," says Jiun Kim (Law, 3).
In the Ewha campus, the first classes to fill up are the yoga classes. The Physical Training Center in the Student Union Building offers various sports programs each month, such as swimming, jazz dance, aerobics, and so on, but yoga seems to receive the most popular vote among students these days. The Physical Training Center opened another yoga class for the new school term, for a total of five one-hour sessions during the March and April fitness program.
Off campus there are many yoga classes available, some of them found online. For example, 240 online communities dealing with yoga were found on the Daum Portal Site. Asana is the most commonly practiced form of yoga. Practitioners diagnose the defaults of their body parts through the difficult positions of the cobra, cat, bow, etc.
While some think that yoga will phase out as all the other trends of exercise tend to do, others think that this unique form of exercise and meditation has found a solid footing in the Western world as well as in the East. It is yet another phenomenon that shows the coexistence and the linking among the East and the West.