The wave in the past two years has been shifting and more Indians are getting into practicing yoga. But before this I often used to wonder , Why the disinterest?
But I guess being an Indian I can answer it the best ( at least I hope so)
Things closest to us are often the ones we take for granted
I have noticed people often want what they can’t have, and if they have it they either lose interest or just don’t care for it. Growing up every Indian knows that yoga is a very good form of lifestyle to practice and we have many success stories around us. But then we look at the west and see people lift weights and make it look oh-so-amazing! And that is when we start wanting that experience instead of practicing yoga.
We also cannot forget about the older generation in India, who keep telling us how to live our life, or how to perform an asana – that’s all we hear growing up. Even if yoga has had a positive impact on every Indian, from what I’ve seen they don’t want to pursue it for more than a year.
One perfect analogy could be, When one has a messy wardrobe and the parent keeps pestering them to clean for days. Then one fine day they wake up and are motivated to clean it, So they get started on cleaning everything up. Now suddenly the parent sees them doing it and says “Wow I am so happy you finally decided to clean”. Hearing this makes the child want to immediately stop and not clean their wardrobe anymore, the feeling of accomplishment is gone.
Now instead of a messy wardrobe let’s think of yoga.
Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle
Moving on to the counter-side, The rest of the world, especially people in countries outside Asia. I have spoken to quite a number of them and they often say they have a lot of stress and prefer forms of exercise which is calming rather than HIIT or lifting weights which is why they choose yoga.
I was told by some of the people who practice yoga from Europe that they work work work and have no time for themselves. Yoga gives them the time to relax, especially Pranayama.
Some of them have even packed up and moved to India to really learn and study the lifestyle, which to me of course is astounding and makes me want to laugh at the irony. But they say they can never live like that in the country they come from and really want to connect in the right way.
They are so focused and really want to bring back the lifestyle with them. I asked them what is wrong with their current lifestyle and they say “It is so repetitive here and in India people are carefree”. I guess people really want what they can’t have.
So what do I really think?
After talking to many people and experiencing what I have, It helped me change my perspective about yoga. I still have a lot to learn and it just keeps getting interesting. To be honest, I am extremely glad people outside India embrace it and love it. But I would be happier if more Indians would give it a try and make it a part of their lifestyle.