The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj‘ which means ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’. Many practitioners from Rishikesh find its intervention with the Hindi word ‘Yogya’ which means ‘able’. Yoga thus encapsulates the idea of the natural ability to control one’s mind, thoughts, and the impression of the surroundings and enhancing it through training for better and peaceful expression on a spiritual level. Yoga teaches one’s mind and his body to be in spiritual harmony with each other. Yoga has benefits that are intangible but very impressive as per the experiences of those who practiced it.
Yoga Scriptures claim it to be a method of the fusion of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness which paves the path for the ‘Sangam’ of Atma and Paramatma on a mental level. Modern Physics also says that everything around us is a part, product, version, or the manifestation of a quantum firmament. And one who experiences this oneness in the existential form is termed as a Yogi. Yogis are the ones that are true to the art of Yoga and thus have found the beautiful moksha, nirvana, or as they say in English; freedom through the consistent practice of this discipline.
This freedom achieved through Yoga can be observed in all walks of life and thus aspiring for freedom in health, competitiveness, prosperity, and resourcefulness should be the goal of every Yoga fanatic. So is the impression of Yoga amongst the Highest authorities of the world, that U.N. in response to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal of adopting an India-Led resolution of transforming the world through Yogic practices in 2014 declared 21st of June as ‘International Day of Yoga’. This day is celebrated every year to raise awareness and attract interest in this discipline.
Yoga is considered as one of the best gifts of the Indus Valley Civilization to the world as ever since 2700 BC Yoga has been uplifting the material and spiritual interdependence of mankind. Thus, Yoga is one of the oldest and most revered disciplines practiced by us for a very long time. The modern advancements take us away from our roots and culture all while making us more stressed, confused and self-realization deprived and thus Yoga as an answer to all this which makes practicing it the need of the hour. Hence today, we would be discussing the ten most popular Yoga Gurus in India which can impart immense knowledge on how to practice this art of spirituality.
1. TIRUMALAI KRISHNAMACHARYA
Popularly in the Yoga Community, he is known as the ‘Father of Modern Yoga‘. He is well known for the revival of Hatha Yoga and is also known to architect the Vinyasa.
Apart from being a Yoga Guru, he also has the knowledge of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian Discipline of Medicine and the time to time combines both in his classes to help health naturally and thus is called the healer. He has toured India promoting Yoga under the patronage of Maharaj of Mysore. He’s also popular for having impressive control over his heartbeats which he can pause and resume for a while as per his wish too.
2. SWAMI SIVANANDA
Famous for his detailed hasya yoga, Swami Sivananda is known for his humorful style of doing yoga. He considers humor as one of the top traits a yogi must possess and believes in the quote ‘Laughter is the best medicine.’ He was a doctor by profession alongside being a Yogi. He once wrote a song that explained the top 18 traits of a Yogi and Humour was at the top of this list. He is a master in Trimurti Yoga known as the Yoga of Trinity which is a mixture of Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Master Yoga.
3. BKS IYENGAR
One of T Krishnamacharya‘s pupils, he’s famous for popularizing Yoga abroad. Throughout his childhood, various diseases made him weak and vulnerable which made him resort to Yoga as an escape. He redefined Patanjali’s Asanas and sutras and finally gifted the ‘Iyengar Yoga‘ to the World. When he died aged 95, he could still do the handstand i.e. the Sira asana for more than half an hour. Although he suffered from two heart attacks in 1996 and 1998, his Yoga regime kept him fit. He’s loved in more than 70 countries for gifting them his Yoga techniques and his book Light on Yoga (1966) has been dubbed into 19 languages and has sold over 3 million-plus copies. This book is known as the Bible of Yoga.
4. K PATTABHI JOIS
He’s popularly known as the celebrity Yoga Guru. He has celebrity clients like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sting. He’s popular for Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga or known as the Ashtanga Yoga which is based on Yoga Korunta, an ancient yoga scripture.
5. MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI
He mastered in one of the simplest yet most effective forms of Yoga: the meditation mantras. His disciples included the Beatles, the greatest band of all time. He was a prodigy in the transcendental meditation technique which is practiced with close eyes.
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6. PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA
Famous for the Kriya Yoga, he was one of the first Gurus that took Yoga to the West. He believes in uniting with the infinite through Kriya or e certain consistent action form of Yoga and is also a master in meditation techniques.
7. JAGGI VASUDEV
Popularly known as Sadh guru nowadays, he runs a foundation by the name Isha Foundation that works on spreading positive spirituality through Yoga Programmes around the World. He hails from Karnataka and by profession is a philanthropist. He gained popularity when he arranged Yoga sessions with prisoners in the USA.
8. SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
A popular spiritual leader and the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar believes in practicing Yoga through the Rhythmic Control of breathing which is called the Sudarshan kriya. He claims to have come up with this Idea while practicing Silence for a 10-day period in Karnataka.
9. BABA RAMDEV
This guy needs no introduction. Although today he is popular for his business firm Patanjali Industries once he was the torchbearer of Yoga in this country. He made Yoga a household name in India. He is the reason a huge portion of the Youth came to know about Yoga. His Kapalbhati and Anulom Vilom prakriya made everyone believe that Yoga is not only for Yogis but for the general public too.
10. BIKRAM CHOUDHARY
He is popular for practicing Yoga in heat. He conditions halls to high temperatures ranging from 35-40 degrees and then does the improvised versions of the Hatha Yoga which he made popular by introducing and mastering 26 new postures which he calls the Bikram Yoga.
So, these were the ten most popular Yoga Gurus in India that have mastered the discipline of Yoga through training and have improvised over the period of time to serve now the mankind with the most natural way of releasing stress and tense lifestyle. Do you plan on adopting Yoga as a part of your Lifestyle? If yes, let us know in the comments section, which Guru of these has till yet inspired you and which one you are looking forward to following.
Till then, stay safe, stay healthy.
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