mid day editorial: Yoga degree, a very good startasana

Published: Feb 12, 2019, 07:20 IST | mid-day online correspondent

A report in this paper stated that officials from the university held several meetings with members of renowned yoga institutions to prepare the curriculum for the course

mid day editorial: Yoga degree, a very good startasana

The Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) is to introduce a five-year degree course called Bachelors of Naturopathy and Yoga Sciences (BNYS). Also in the pipeline is a plan to incorporate a yoga course in the curriculum of first-year medical students at the university.

A report in this paper stated that officials from the university held several meetings with members of renowned yoga institutions to prepare the curriculum for the course.

This should certainly help bring a uniformity and cohesiveness to the teaching of yoga. The exploding popularity of yoga, helped hugely by International Yoga Day, has also meant that there are more and more candidates claiming to be yoga teachers or professionals.

They find slots in gyms holding yoga classes for their members or offering them as an added incentive to join the gym, in corporations, or other places. Slowly, these teachers build their contacts and make the move to private teaching. All this is perfectly legit and it is good that they have avenues thanks to the awareness about yoga. Yet, there are concerns about qualifications.

Just how do you know that a yoga practitioner is qualified to teach? What is the yardstick for judging whether a person should be teaching yoga? Currently, there is no yardstick at all. This is not to say that every yoga teacher is a fraud. We have excellent teachers, dedicated to their practice. We have not very good teachers, too, as the system has no way of telling who is qualified.

This may be one step in streamlining the practice and subsequently, the teaching of yoga and weeding out the charlatans. It may not be foolproof but it is a start and more importantly recognition that the yoga teaching tree needs to be shaken with the bad apples weeded out. A good startasana, this is.

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