Yoga has been an intrinsic part of the Indian culture for more than 5000 years. It is an ancient system of bringing into unison your mind, body, and spirit. With time, this sacred art has gained worldwide recognition and even made the west acknowledge its magical benefits. However, for you to learn this wonderful technique, the guidance of a yoga guru is needed.
Having a yoga guru helps you learn the physical as well as the mental and spiritual aspects of yoga. Under his/her guidance, you unlock the true potential of your being and connect with the divine. There have been many yoga gurus who contributed to spreading the knowledge of this sacred art through centuries. However, some of them stand out for their contribution in this field.
Yoga experts have come up with seven yoga gurus who played a crucial role in the spread of this ancient art.
Known as the “Father of Modern Yoga”, T. Krishnamacharya is known for being the architect of Vinyasa yoga and reviving the Hatha yoga style. Add to that, he had complete knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga, and knew how to combine both to restore health. Another great talent was his ability to control his heartbeat.
Moreover, Krishnamacharya is also known for combining breathing and the physical exercise and integrating them into yoga asanas. Some of his popular disciples include Indra Devi, K. Pattabhi Jois, and B.K.S Iyengar.
A student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, B.K.S Iyengar is known for popularizing yoga abroad. He also redefined Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and gave the gift of Iyengar yoga to the world.
His style of yoga is different from others as it promotes the use of yoga props like ropes, cushions, wooden blocks, chairs, benches, and belts. He is one of the yoga gurus who left a considerable impact on the yoga world.
Author of more than 200 books on yoga, Vedanta, and a host of other topics, Swami Sivananda was a doctor in Malaysia who renounced his work to becoming a monk. He is most popular for his humor and credited with writing a song describing the 18 qualities a yogi must have.
Sivananda spent his life practicing Sadhana, reading the scriptures, and spreading the teachings of yoga. He is also credited with combining Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, and Raja yoga into one system and spreading it across the world.
K. Pattabhi Jois was another disciple of Krishnamacharya. He is credited with introducing Ashtanga yoga, which is based on the ancient yogic text, Yoga Korunta. His style of yoga comprises of six series which you practice under the supervision of a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher.
The Ashtanga yoga style propagated by K. Pattabhi Jois emphasizes on using correct breathing techniques. Moreover, this yoga style has been adapted by numerous Hollywood elites like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor. K. Pattabhi Jois is one of the yoga gurus who introduced to the world another way to practice yoga.
Bikram Choudhary introduced to the world a sequence of 26 yoga poses which are practiced in a hot room. His style of yoga was known as Bikram yoga and it was a 90-minute session practiced in a room with temperature amped up to 40 degree Celsius. His style of yoga is adapted by celebrities like George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and sports stars like Kareem Adbul-Jabbar.
Best known for his book – Autobiography Of A Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda introduced to the western world the art of meditation and Kriya yoga. He is one of the first yoga gurus who spent the majority of his time in the United States to pave the way to yoga for the western civilization.
Swami Rama, born in Garhwal Himalayas was the first yoga guru to have been studied by western scientists. He could control his body processes like blood pressure, body temperature, and even heartbeat.
He is also credited with laying the foundation of the Himalayan Institute Of Yoga Science and Philosophy. Swami Rama is also the holder of the Sankhya Yoga tradition.
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Yoga might be an ancient art with more than 5000 years of history. Yet, the contribution of numerous yoga gurus around the world make one thing clear – yoga is much more than just physical asanas and Pranayama techniques.