SWAMI VIDYANAND is off to China to teach Self-Transformation Yoga, a yoga form that purifies mind, body, prana and heart. A report by PRITI AGRAWAL.Yoga is not limited to any county or religion — it has now become a global cult and is expanding its wings across the world. It’s not a religion — rather it is a universal way of life. The science of yoga requires full attention of the mind.
Recently the Chinese Government invited Swami Vidyanand, founder president of Yoga Alliance International (YAI), to open a yoga centre in China, to promote the authentic practices of Indian yoga there. Jiangsu Sports Bureau of China is working closely with YAI to teach training courses in authentic Indian yoga traditions. YAI has formed a division especially for China, in association with the master from the Hong Kong Association, Dickson Lau.
“We are going to introduce authentic Indian yoga traditions including Integral Transformational Yoga to China. They have also evinced interest in special yoga courses targeted at people aged over 40 with the aim of promoting health and happiness,” says Swamiji, founder of the Transformational Yogic Living programme. This system of yoga has already been introduced in the University of Hong Kong, where it is getting rave reviews.
China is gearing up to celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21 and is all set to introduce yoga with Swamiji. “This is a good indicator — at last, yoga is being seen as being independent of religion. It feels good to see people taking up yoga not only for health and awareness but also for mindfulness. Yoga has been popular in China as a science for many years already, although the emphasis has been mainly on the benefits for the body”, says Swamiji.
Chinese traditional practices like tai chi shares similar benefits like yoga as it balances both mind and body. People think of yoga only as a set of physical asanas, and that is what creates misunderstandings. Swamiji stresses on the manifold benefits of yoga — not only for the physical body, but also for its importance for our physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity and soulfulness. He describes its holistic features that involve body, breath and mind. “Doing physical exercise is of no use if you have not generated the yogic energy to do so. Hatha Yoga means generating energy through the body. Ninety per cent of the energy is sleeping in our muladhara chakra. Yoga can help awaken this energy, which keeps our body healthy. Our body is primarily divided into four sections — physical, prana, mental and psychic body”, says Swamiji. The only way to exercise the psychic body is through prayer, and the mind opens to the Divine through a scientific process. “In Transformational Yoga, first we look at the ‘structure’ of the four bodies then we ‘purify’ mind, body, prana and heart. Finally, we ‘align’ these four to generate energy, aiming to awaken our eternal body,” he adds.
Transformational Yoga is an integral approach to physical health, emotional balance, mental and spiritual clarity. It focuses on asanas, mantras, breathing, and meditation that purify our body and help concentrate the mind. It stabilises emotions, increasing spiritual wellbeing as it helps to connect with the higher Self, bringing in its wake, true wisdom and enlightenment.
“Transformational Yoga is a powerful system that activates the inner resources of the body allowing the individual to live in a state of inner wellbeing, lightening pressures of contemporary living. It can help you to centre and balance your life in a way that keeps you naturally happy, healthy and emotionally stable,” says Swamiji.
This form of yoga is a combination of Hatha Yoga, pranayama, Raja Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. It gives mental clarity through meditation. Asanas are carefully selected to enhance the energy of the body.
“This yoga technique not only makes our muscles stronger and flexible, it also reduces stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue. It increases energy, mindfulness, improves memory, focus, and concentration. As we improve our posture, we reduce our risk of suffering from disease,” he adds.