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Know the Yoga Gurus

June 21st 2016 marks the second International Yoga Day, an event which celebrates the benefits of the centuries old exercise.  Over the years, the entire world has seemed to acknowledge the advantages of practicing yoga. The event’s celebrations witnesses people, students, political leaders practicing and promoting yoga. The fact that yoga emerged from India is no secret, with several teachers, gurus and yogis practicing and promoting it, since time immemorial. We bring to you some of the most famous saints and practitioners of yoga from India.

  1. AdiShankaracharya :AdiShankaracharya was born in 788 AD in a village called Kaladi in Kerala. One of the greatest philosophers of India. Shankaracharya is the main traditional teacher of Jnana Yoga or the “Yoga of Knowledge,” which is usually regarded as the highest yogic path. His great poemSaundaryaLahiri or the Wave of Bliss remains the most famous work of Tantric Yoga and Shakti Sadhana reflecting all the secrets of Sri Vidya, mantra, yantra and tantra.


  1. Swami Vivekananda :The great soul who was responsible for taking India’s rich tradition and culture to the western world. He is the author of Raja Yoga, a book about "Raja Yoga", his interpretation of Patanjali's Yoga sutras. The book was published in July 1896.It became an instant success and was highly influential in the western understanding of Yoga. His Ramkrishna Mission and Math seeks to promote yoga and its benefits globally!


  1. Swami Kuvalayananda :Hailing from Gujarat, Swami Kuvalayananda was a researcher and educator who is primarily known for his pioneering research into the scientific foundations of yoga. He started scientific research on yoga in 1920, and published the first scientific journal specifically devoted to studying yoga, Yoga Mimamsa, in 1924. The experiments carried out at the laboratory at Baroda Hospital convinced him that yoga could propagate health and bring about spiritual motivation that could illuminate change in human society. He established the Kaivalyadhama Institute of Yoga at Lonavala in Pune.


  1. Swami SivanandaSaraswati: A former doctor in Malaysia, Swami Sivananda was immensely influenced by Swami Vishwananda Saraswati. Having learnt yoga, ancient scriptures and practiced sadhna, he founded the Divine Life Society (DLS) in 1936, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (1948) and authored over 200 books on yoga, Vedanta and a variety of subjects.


  1. Swami ChidanandaSaraswati: Born as Sridhar Rao in 1916, had a keen interest in spirituality since a young age, Swami Chidananda joined Swami SivanandaSaraswati and set up Yoga Museum which housed the entire Vedanta philosophy and also a pictorial Yoga Sadhana process. He became the President of Divine Life Society in 1963 when his predecessor took final mahasamadhi.


  1. Swami SatyanandaSaraswati: Highly influenced by Swami SivanandaSaraswati, Swami Chidananda studied yoga, tantra and Vedanta and kundalini yoga in such a through fashion that he founded the new Bihar School of Yoga in 1963 and became the pioneer of the kundalini yoga practice. Called by practitioners "the yoga of awareness", it aims "to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.


  1. Swami Rama: Born in 1925 at a village called Toli in the Garhwal Himalayas, Swami Rama became the holder of the Sankhya Yoga tradition.He is the first of the Yogis who was studied scientifically at Menninger clinic in USA. Scientists wanted to understand how he was able to control his heartbeat, body temperature and blood pressure voluntarily as these are involuntary processes. He is the founder of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy with headquarters in USA and branches in India and Europe.


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