Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, Yoga is the age-old science of merging the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Even if you are not into spirituality, Yoga has unlimited health benefits for your body and mind. Under an expert Yoga guru, people twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in the most complex ways to realize the full potential of their body, mind and spirit.
There are many types of Yogas - Gyan Yoga (which we know as Philosophy), Bhakti Yoga (path of devotion to God), Karma Yoga (path of rightful action), and Raja Yoga (the power of mind control). However, when we talk about ‘yoga’ today, we refer to the physical exercises (Asanas), breathing patterns, and spiritual practices followed by various branches.
In today’s busy world Yoga has become increasingly popular as a retreat from the chaos and humdrum of our daily lives. Yoga provides many other mental and physical benefits. Popular branches of Yoga include Hatha Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Bikram Yoga etc.
Benefits of Yoga
There are several levels to benefits of Yoga. To start with, it inculcates your inner awareness and helps you develop the strength of body and mind. Through breathing practices and Asanas (physical exercises), you focus your attention to the abilities of your body in the present moment.
Surveys revealed that people who practiced yoga were more aware and satisfied with their bodies than people who didn’t practice yoga. They were also more satisfied with and less critical of their bodies.
Some other benefits of Yoga are:
*Mindful Eating: Researchers found that practicing yoga led people to be mindful of all their actions, including eating. They developed a questionnaire which tracked following eating behaviors in the participants:
*Being aware of how food looks, tastes and smells
*Eating even when full (disinhibition)
*Eating in response to environmental cues, such as the sight or smell of food
* Eating when distracted by other things
*Eating when sad or stressed (emotional eating)
It was seen that that people who practiced yoga were more mindful eaters. The years of yoga practice, and number of minutes of practice per week were found to be directly associated with their ‘mindfulness’.
*Weight Loss and Management: A scientific research revealed that those who practiced yoga for at least 30 minutes once a week for at least four years, gained less weight during middle adulthood. It went on to reveal that people who were overweight lost weight with the help of yoga.
*Fitness Enhancement: Yoga can soothe our tension and anxiety, and increase our capacity to exercise. In a study on a small group of sedentary individuals, it was found that after just eight weeks of practicing yoga for 180 minutes per week, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardio-respiratory fitness increased considerably.
*Cardiovascular Benefits: Several studies proved that yoga considerably cuts down on cardiovascular risk factors and helps body to correct imbalances in blood pressure.
It also improves lipid profiles in the practitioners, and lowers their blood sugar levels (in case of non-insulin dependent diabetes). Naturally, Yoga is now a part of cardiac rehabilitation programs in many countries.
Yoga has also been found to be helpful in treatment of depression and arthritis, and increase the chances of survival for chronic cancer patients.
Education and Qualifications
You can become a Yoga instructor after Class 12 but a diploma or degree in Yoga can open up several more opportunities for you. After completing higher education, you become eligible to apply for opportunities in schools, hospitals, and government centres.
A number of public and private colleges, institutes and universities in India are offering Yoga courses at all levels - Diploma, BA, B.Sc., MA, M. Sc. M. Phil and Ph. D.
To enroll in a B.Sc or BA program in Yoga therapy, you must be at least 17 years old and should have cleared Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology with at least 50% aggregate marks. To pursue M.Sc or MA program in the field, you require the BA or B.Sc degree in this field first.
Best Yoga Training Institutes in India
*Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
* Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
* Annamalai University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
* Bangalore University, Bangalore, Karnataka
* Barkatullah Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
* Bharathidasan University, Trichy , Tamil Nadu
*Bharathiyar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
* Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar, Gujarat
*Bihar Yoga Bharti, Munger, Bihar
* Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh
*Dev Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, Uttarakhand
* Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh
*Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
* Gujarat Ayurveda University, Jamnagar, Gujarat
* Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
* Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
* Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, Uttarakhand
*Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, Patan, Gujarat
* Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Pauri Garhwal , Uttarakhand
* Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
*Indian Institute of Yogic Science & Research, Bhubneshwar, Odisha
*Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal
* Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
* Jain Vishwabharti University, Ladun, Rajasthan
* Jaipur University, Jaipur, Rajasthan
* Jiwaji University, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
* Kaivalyadhama, Pune, Maharashtra
* Karnataka University, Dharwad, Karnataka
* Karnataka University, Dharwad, Karnataka
* Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
* Kumaun University, Kumaun, Uttarakhand
* Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana
* Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
* Lakulish Yoga University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
* Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Vedic Viswavidyalaya, Katni, Madhya Pradesh
*Mangalore University, Mangalore, Karnataka
*Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka
* MGC Gramodaya Viswavidyalaya, Satna, Madhya Pradesh
* MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
*ML Sukhadia University, Udaipur, Rajasthan
* Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi, Delhi
* MS University, Thirunelvelli, Tamil Nadu
*Patanjali University, Haridwar, Uttarakhand
* Pt.Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur , Chhattisgarh
* Punjab University, Chandigarh , Punjab
* Punjab University, Patiala, Punjab
*Rani Durgavati Viswavidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
* Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
*Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, Amravati, Maharashtra
* SVYASA, Bangalore, Karnataka
* Tamil Nadu Physical Education & Sports University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
* Tamil University, Tanjure, Tamil Nadu
* University of Lucknow, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
* University of Madras, Tanjure, Tamil Nadu
* Utkal University, Bhubneshwar, Odisha
Job Opportunities in Yoga
We keep hearing of techies and professionals who gave up their high-flying careers and plum jobs to become yoga trainers. There are others who prefer to take up a mainstream job as well as become a part-time teacher to remain fit and help others to benefit from their knowledge and experience.
For instance, Bharat Thakur's Yoga programme has trainers who have been former lawyers, mechanical or telecom engineers, professional dancers, and even business heads! At Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living facilities, you see part-time trainers too, who opt to take classes in just mornings and evenings.
Manisha Adhikari, who used to be a TV journalist earlier, said, “It is the next big thing in healthcare.”
Yoga Sciences open up several job, research, training and work opportunities such as:
* Assistant Ayurvedic Doctor
* Clinical Psychologist
*Research Officer- Yoga and Naturopathy
* Therapists and Naturopaths
*Trainer/ Instructor Health Club
*Yoga Aerobic Instructor
* Yoga Instructor or Teacher
* Yoga Therapist
Gyms, schools, large organizations, health centres, and housing societies often hire Yoga trainers and therapists. Hospitals, health resorts and Yoga centers require trained people for academic, research, management and administration work too.
Many foreign missions and embassies in India are hiring Yoga instructors at a good remuneration. Ever since the United Nations has declared June 21 as the World Yoga Day, career opportunities for Yoga teachers and instructors have suddenly spiked to their all-time high.
Recently, the government has made it mandatory to hire a Yoga instructor in schools. Besides, the government has also established institutes, research centres, and a council to promote Yoga, giving a boost to the opportunities in the field.
One may also be hired by celebrities and renowned personalities as personal trainer, or television channels looking to launch their own Yoga programs for their viewers.
Self-employment is also a major option in the field of Yoga. Foreign tourists often come to India looking for a peaceful retreat and Yoga specialists. Yoga therapies for specific diseases, especially lifestyle diseases, are quite in demand too.
It is to be noted that all countries across the world are now observing International Yoga Day, and 177 countries co-sponsored the UN resolution to adopt June 21st as International Yoga Day. It means that you may also find good opportunities abroad. Just make sure that the lucrative job offer from the foreign land is genuine, before you take it up.
Money is only a small part of what Yoga offers you. Most people enter this line because it keeps them fit and offers them peace, which are rare benefits you can expect from a career. Still, a fresher in the Yoga training field can easily earn Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 a month. MA or PhD degree holders may get government jobs with good pay scales. Your remuneration increases with your experience, and mostly depends on how good are your communication and social networking skills. Private sector that has jobs with higher stress levels may cough up to Rs 1 lakh per month to hire an experienced Yoga professional to conduct training workshops for their employees.