The ancient practise of yoga, which has its roots in the Indian subcontinent, has been practised for thousands of years and has undergone numerous changes. While the fundamentals of yoga have not changed, there have been substantial changes made to better serve modern practitioners. In this blog, we will explore the variations between conventional yoga and contemporary yoga, looking at how this age-old practise has changed to meet the needs of the modern world.

Roots of Traditional Yoga:

The Vedas, Upanishads, and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are among the early works of literature that serve as the foundation for traditional yoga. Its main goal was spiritual development and the pursuit of unification between the personal soul (Atman) and the collective consciousness (Brahman). As a way to achieve self-realization and emancipation (moksha), traditional yoga placed a strong emphasis on moral principles, meditation, and self-discipline.

Focus on Physical Postures:

Physical postures (asanas) play a prominent role in contemporary yoga, especially in the West. While yoga has always included asanas, traditional yoga also placed a high value on meditation and other spiritual practises. The physical component frequently takes centre stage in contemporary yoga studios, providing practitioners with a means to enhance their general health, flexibility, and strength.

Spiritual vs. Physical:

The ultimate aim of classical yoga was to achieve spiritual enlightenment and freedom from the cycle of rebirth and death (samsara). The goal of practitioners was to transcend ego boundaries and make contact with their higher selves. Modern yoga, on the other hand, satisfies many requirements, without necessarily emphasising the spiritual component, such as stress alleviation, weight management, and mental well-being.

Guru-Disciple Relationship:

Traditional yoga was primarily transmitted through a guru-disciple relationship, in which pupils got individualised direction and instruction from their spiritual guides. Modern yoga is accessible to a bigger community since instructors frequently lead group classes with a wider audience in mind.

Commercialization and Mass Appeal:

Modern yoga has become more commercialised as a result of its rising popularity. Although it has increased access to yoga, this has also prompted questions about its legitimacy and the diluting of its spiritual core. Yoga has developed into a thriving industry with a wide range of styles and products thanks to the rise of social media and fitness fads.

Integration of Different Styles:

Power yoga, hot yoga, and aerial yoga are just a few of the many yoga variations that have developed as a result of the integration of multiple styles and influences from various civilizations into modern yoga. While this variety gives practitioners options, it can also make it difficult to choose which style best suits their unique requirements and goals.

Conclusion:

The search of balance and wellbeing is a recurrent theme in both traditional and contemporary yoga. Modern yoga has evolved to address the physical, mental, and emotional needs of modern practitioners, as opposed to the traditional yoga’s emphasis on spiritual development and self-realization. Both strategies have advantages, and the development of yoga demonstrates the adaptable character of people and their drive for personal development.

It is crucial for practitioners to embrace yoga’s progress while also respecting its foundations. The core of yoga is self-awareness, mindfulness, and the quest for inner peace, regardless of whether one opts for a traditional or modern practise. The practise of yoga is ageless and transformative, and each person can use it to find their own path to healing and self-discovery.