Yoga and Baba Ramdev
An obscure channel called ‘Astha’ suddenly gained prominence and overnight housewives and mothers who once spoke only about saas bahu serials were talking about a man, famously known as ‘Ramdev baba’. Clad in a saffron robe with body as flexible as rubber this man has gone to become the face of Yoga and Yogic medicine in India. In a country swarming with sadhus, sanyasas and soothsayers, Ramdev Baba treads a different path. His contribution towards the promotion of holistic system of Yoga and ayurveda for the betterment of mankind has made him a household name not just in India but the world over. Whether it is the innumerable people who travel across the seas to learn from him or whether it is the millions of people who watch and practice with him from home, his followers have multiplied with time and they are growing with every passing day.
Born in Haryana in 1953, he dropped out of school to join the Yogic Monastery in Khanput. Abandoning all worldly pleasures and interests he started on the path of Yoga at a very early age. Soon he moved to the district of Jind and started teaching Yoga to the villagers there. While there he also joined the Aarsh Gurukul kalva and the rest is history.
They say, follow his preaching who practices what he preaches. Baba Ramdev is one such man. He suffered from paralysis at one time and cured it all by himself through regular and disciplined practice of Yoga.
His popularity started when he founded the Divya Yog Mandir Trust. In 2003 he began his morning slots in Aastha TV and today the channel has become synonymous with Ramdev Baba. He also has an institution in Haridwar called Patanjali Yogpeeth. It is an an institution for scientific research and treatment in Yoga, Ayurveda and Spiritualism. It houses one of the world’s largest OPD with a capacity of over 8000 – 10,000 patients per day. People who cannot afford the medication, the facilities of the hospital are given for free.
Baba Ramdev Pranayam consists of six main breathing exercises that include Bhastrika Pranayama, Kapal Bhati Pranayama, Bahaya Pranayama, Anulom Vilom Pranayama, Bhramri Pranayama and Udgeeth Pranayama.
From the very beginning Baba Ramdev’s mission has been to make people include Yoga in their daily schedule. Whether it is to get rid of stress, to reduce extra weight or to cure an illness, Baba Ramdev believes that there is a natural way to do it and demonstrates that way. People world over followed his advice and the benefits have been experienced by many. This is one reason why Yoga institutes and retreats have mushroomed not just in India but all over the world.
For beginners who need to learn the basic postures etc, there are Yoga shivirs organized in various cities where people can learn from the experts. When you start, you have to bear in mind that the postures have to be well learned and they have to correct as doing the wrong posture could have health hazards. It is almost like getting the doctor to check you but misreading his prescription and buying the wrong medicine.
Today many criticise him for voicing his opinions on political matter and taking a stand against corruption by following Anna Hazare and going on a hunder strike. No one knows what the outcome is going to be but one thing stands and it cannot be undermined that in todays time Baba Ramdev has manages to take yoga and ayurveda beyond the shores of India to nations far and wide and thereby add another glorious feather to India’s shining hat.