By Jaya Kumar
Chennai, Jan 21 : For a group of American students visiting India on an education tour, one of the biggest charms has been learning Yoga at a Chennai college here.
Belonging to the Elmhurst College, this group of 20 students along with their two college professors has enrolled themselves for the yoga classes at Madras Christian College.
Under the stewardship of Yoga instructor Gopinath, these American students are finding the Yogic exercises and postures very attractive. These students spend three hours a day practicing various techniques and movements taught by their Guru.
"It's quite an amazing experience. We get up early in the morning and a group of us get instructed by the yoga master. It is very rejuvenating. It's a great start to the day and keeps us energetic throughout the day," said Hoshua Reonman, one of the students.
These students say that yoga sessions are a great rejuvenating experience that have helped them relieve themselves from physical and mental stress. They lament that ignorance about Yoga in the U.S.
"It's just a great experience for all of us and its something most of us will be taking along to the U.S. We will try to spread knowledge about Yoga because it's something that most of our friends, family and relatives don't really grasp. They don't understand it out there. So it will be a good experience for us to take this to our families in the U.S.," Reonman added.
Every day, the yoga class commences at 6 o'clock.
These enthusiastic students have already learnt almost 20 yogic postures. Their Yoga instructor is also happy teaching them some of the advanced yogic exercises which include-- Sarvangasana, Dhanuasana, Pujangajana, Pavanamuktasana and Chakrasna. "All the 20 students have taken out time to be here. In the two beginning sessions, I taught them basics. When I found out that they were more advanced in learning, I taught them Saravanasanas, Bhujangasanas, Dhanurasanas and Halasanas. All these are very difficult asanas," said Gopinath, the Yoga instructor.
The accompanying teachers of these students said that besides learning yoga, the Indian tour has offered them an opportunity to understand the culture, its traditions and diversity. All of them are delighted to learn the physical and spiritual practice on the land of Yoga's origin.
"The students got an opportunity to learn yoga and to practise yoga in the land of its origin. They can understand people of the country, its diversity and how yoga and India has really influenced the entire world," said Paul Parker, American teacher.
Yoga has emerged as one of the biggest captivation for a large number of people from across the India and abroad. It could happen due to widespread awareness about positive impact of the ancient Indian practice on the physical and mental faculties of a large number of people.
Famous Indian monk Swami Vivekananda first introduced yoga to American society in late nineteenth century.