New Age Yoga Vs. Traditional Yoga: A Funny Story – Part 1


Do you guys need some change from reading abstract theories and concepts? I know you would say yes. So, let us take a short break to have some fun and laughs! 🙂

It is story time now. Be all your ears(and eyes)! OK? Fine. Let us get started.

Chanchal and Nischal were great friends since childhood.  They finished their high school education in the same school in India and chose different careers for living. Today, both of them are in excellent positions: Chanchal is working in the US for a multinational company, whereas Nischal preferred to stay back in India by choice to start his own business.

Both Chanchal and Nischal were born in traditional Hindu families. Naturally, spirituality and philosophy was in their genes. Although both of them had some leanings towards yoga, the approach was quite different.

Nischal was practicing traditional yoga with an Indian Guru(Master).  Chanchal joined a fashionable new age yoga in the US. After many years, Chanchal visited India and met his childhood pal Nischal. After chatting on various things, they started talking on their favorite subject, yoga.  The discussion went on as follows:

Chanchal: “You know what?  I joined Chilli Yoga in the US. I had been practicing it for a while now. I feel great and happy, you know! It is conducted by Chilli Yoga LLC!

Nischal:  “Really?  Good to know. What is this LLC?”

Chanchal: “LLC means Limited Liability Company – if something goes wrong in practicing this yoga, the company will not be held responsible for damages! Moreover, we need to agree to their  terms and conditions by signing a legal paperwork during registration. “

Nischal: “That is risky for you. But, it is safe for the company! I am practicing traditional yoga under the supervision of a Guru(Master). Its goal is to merge with the unlimited Universal Self. I trust my master. I am completely devoted to him. My master takes care of everything for me. Zero risk!”

Chanchal: “You know, Chilli Yoga is practiced by 1.2 million people worldwide. It has franchises in 119 countries. So many people cannot be wrong, you know what I mean?  We don’t need to strain our body by doing complicated asanas(body poses) anymore.  All we need to do is this: sit in the asana trainer machine and fasten our legs and hands. That’s it.  New Age Yoga Association(NAYA) approved machine will automatically put our body in many challenging poses like dragon pose!   Is it not great? No pain, only gain!

Nischal: “It is funny! In my traditional yoga, asana is considered one of the stages to prepare the mind and body. The goal of asana is to stabilize the body posture to observe the mind. How do you do that in your so called yoga?”

Chanchal: “Stable posture is not required in this yoga. It is exactly the opposite! In modern times, people are anxious and restless, you see! They will be stressed out if you ask them to sit in a stable pose even for a couple minutes. So, Chilli Yoga is a boon for such people.

The asana trainer machine moves the body in various directions in space in tune with the latest rock music.  It is scientifically proved that this helps the blood circulation in the entire body and strengthens the cardiovascular system. Statistical data collected by the company shows that it reduces stress and prevents heart attacks!”

Nischal: “Oh, really! I am completely confused now. How do you focus on the mind? Please enlighten me!”

Chanchal: “When the body is rocking, we focus on the music, not the mind. Very enjoyable. It is really thrilling like a roller-coaster ride, you know?  I love it – especially when the body is held upside down in mid-air in a dinosaur pose for some time! In fact, you can program a sequence of different yoga poses for the session and the machine takes care of everything. Cool!

Also, our master watches each person carefully from his computer console in the next room.  Entire yoga is done under the supervision of an experienced master. So, it is completely safe. Absolutely no stress, God’s gift to mankind!
There is a special therapeutic package for patients too. The vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure etc. of the patient are monitored continuously and recorded to personalize the optimal sequence of proprietary yoga poses to help curing specific medical conditions. ”

Nischal: “Well, you are really talking like a marketing guy or a fan! Looks like you have the thorough knowledge of the theory of this so called yoga. Great! Are you connected with the company in any way? If a machine does everything for you, it should achieve the real goal of yoga, not you! In the whole drama, the yoga company bags the most benefits(or profits).
Alas! Some companies are packaging some mechanical physical exercises minus the spirituality and calling it a yoga. There is no consideration to the real goal or purpose. By the way, what is this dinosaur pose?  As far as I know, this pose is not mentioned in any of our Scriptures (like Hatha Pradipika) of traditional yoga.”

Chanchal: “It is all proprietary stuff, you know. It is a modern yoga pose sequence discovered and patented by Chilli Yoga LLC around the globe. Only instructors certified by Chilli are allowed to teach or to open a franchised yoga studio.  One has to pay the license fee to practice it!”

Nischal: “Traditionally, in India, yoga is taught by the Masters to qualified disciples  to help one realize his/her Individual Self. The real yoga has to be freely available to help everybody.  What is this patenting stuff?  I don’t understand. I am lost.”

(… To be concluded in the next post. Please stay on!)

Disclaimer: The plot and characters of this story are fictitious. It is not intended to target any specific new age yoga system or group of any country. If you notice any similarity with your yoga system or practice, it is just a pure coincidence! Relax. Take it easy.

If you are in yoga business similar to Chilli Yoga, by reading this article you may get new ideas to employ novel technologies to increase your revenue to help your customers and stakeholders! If you are already practicing a modern yoga similar to Chilli, this writing will inspire you to stop and think over it and to take next right steps.

If you are a yoga enthusiast, this story would encourage you to avoid not so reasonable yoga(fitness exercise) systems and to choose the right yoga path. So, goal of the article is to help everybody!
In fact, all the yoga articles in Rudraksha Yoga Blog will be very useful for everybody who is interested  in learning  real yoga. If you are new to this blog, please read our policy and FAQ.

All the best!

Sarve janah sukhino bhavathu |

May everybody be happy!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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