There are many misconceptions in people’s mind about Yoga. Some think Yoga is a religion and the yoga poses are some kind of rituals. For some yoga is all about exercising for better health and is a set of healing techniques and meditation for better memory and mind power. Some feel there are some prerequisites like good qualification or a lot of money for joining a yoga program and for some yoga is a practice for attaining supernatural powers. There are many for whom yoga is just fun, fashion, trend and time-pass. So now the question arises, what in reality Yoga is? It is quite surprising to see that Yoga which is an ancient science for knowing self and attaining higher spiritual consciousness is often misunderstood as a religion or some kind of game or fun activity. People are confused and have certain doubts about yoga that I am mentioning below with an objective to provide satisfying answers:
1. Is Yoga a religion? Yoga is not at all a religion. A person of any faith and religion can learn and practice yoga. There is no need to belong to a specific region, country , profession, ethnicity, sex, caste, creed or religion for learning and practicing yoga. Yoga is for everyone. All the people of globe even the agnostics and atheists can practice the same. Yoga has tremendous benefits and it does not harm anyone.
2. Is Yoga exercising techniques? Yes, Yoga offers exercising techniques known as Yogic Asanas and these asanas offer miraculous health benefits. The meditation techniques known as pranayama helps in reducing mental troubles, stress and increases mind and memory power. But this is not all about Yoga. There are additional benefits of yoga too. These techniques have been introduced as the methods for achieving a harmony of body, mind, emotions and spirit. A yogi aims to live in an ongoing and progressively more joyous state of harmony. This is an amazing experience for a yogi and a wonderful way of living life. The state of harmony that I mentioned is essential for attaining the ultimate goal of becoming nirvikar (enlightened) – free from the emotions of jealousy, grief, hate, hatred, fear, guilt, shame, enmity, attachment, unhappiness and filled with joy, peace and love.
3. Are there any prerequisites for Yoga? No, anyone is fit for Yoga. There are no prerequisites for learning and practicing yoga. One need not to be highly qualified, strong, good looking, rich and powerful to attain the state of enlightenment.
4. Are there high fees and charges for yoga courses? No, this is not true. There are some organizations that run the yoga programs with commercial focus. So, they charge some fees for their services but the fees are usually affordable. There are many ashramas where you can learn the Yoga and meditation techniques without paying a penny. The most important thing is to find the right Guru, one who himself is enlightened beyond the worldly attractions and just wants to help others in achieving the same.
5. Is Yoga meant for attaining supernatural powers? As already explained above, aim of Yoga is different, though some people claim to have gained and experienced supernatural powers and explain their ability to teach the same but a real Yogi would never lure people with such attractions because he knows that it is just a shallow thing compared to the real goal of Yoga.
6. Can I have fun doing Yoga? Yoga actually aims to offer a life in which every moment is fun. One need not be dependent on anyone, anything or circumstances to be happy and content. A Yogi fears noone, enjoys with each passing moment, his time passes merrily, peacefully, successfully and with lots of fun because now he starts to live differently.