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The Madras Sanskrit College is launching ‘Yoga Praveshika’, an introductory course on Yoga. On its e-Learning platform. This course will help beginners or people unfamiliar with Yoga to get a better understanding of the origins, key texts and key concepts.
There has been a tremendous growth in the last decade in the number of yoga practitioners across the globe. Millions of people have reaped the benefits from practicing yoga with ‘asanas’ or physical postures being a predominant focus of their learning. However, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding yoga today. The most popular belief about yoga is that it is a physical or fitness activity and often involves contorting the body into different shapes. The reality is that yoga is more about the refinement of the mind than the body.
If one googles for “Online yoga course”, there are a plethora of yoga courses available on the internet. This course should stand apart from others based on the approach taken to explain concepts in a simple easy to understand manner and emphasizing the breath-movement linkage in practical lessons. Yoga Praveshika has been designed by Aravind Rajagopalan and Shyam Raman who have learnt Yoga in Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) in the tradition established by Sri T Krishnamacharya and Sri. TKV Desikachar.
As part of this course, students will explore the evolution of Yoga within the structure of ancient Indian scriptures and the six main ancient Indian philosophies (Darshanas). The course also seeks to dispel myths or incorrect perceptions about the practice of Yoga. The key philosophical concepts are explained using Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras which is the foundational text for Yoga. The corresponding sutra is chanted in Sanskrit followed by an explanation of the word meanings or ‘padaartha’. Finally, an elaboration on the contextual meaning and link to the underlying concept is explained. At the end of each chapter, students are taught a new yoga asana (posture) with the correct use of breath along with guidelines to keep in mind while practicing the postures. Students are encouraged to relax and work at their own pace in a safe environment.
At the end of this course students will be able to 1) understand the true import of Yoga and key concepts related to it 2) learn key sutras from the Yoga Sutra text and understand their meaning; 3) learn 8 Yoga Asanas and one Pranayama technique. However the larger intent is to whet the appetite of students for doing a deeper study of yoga and enrich their asana practice. This course will be followed up with a series of advanced courses to help the practitioner to develop his expertise in the field.
The course will be launched on March 1, 2019 by Famous cine actor Sri Sivakumar who is a great proponent of yoga himself.