INDIA  :   Education

A soulful profession for a fast-paced world

Saturday , 02 January 2016
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People across the globe are mesmerised by the power of yoga. In India, too, yoga continues to be popular and accordingly, yoga instructors are in high demand…

To say that the world is both expanding and shrinking at the same time would not be an exaggeration. Even as humans have reached tremendous heights in scientific and technological advancements, especially in terms of healthcare, we cannot ignore the growing acceptability of old and ancient techniques to help us spiritually and physically.

Yoga, an ancient Indian science of the mind as well as body therapy, has undoubtedly caught the attention of the fast-paced world. The good news for India is that Yogic training is swiftly becoming, not only a respectful and stable career prospect, but it has also become a popular trend, especially amongst upper and middle class circles who have begun to acknowledge the reputation of its therapeutic values, something essential due to their busy and stressful lifestyles.

According to Art of Living, a spiritual organisation in India followed by millions of people, Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means union of the individual consciousness or soul, with the universal consciousness or Spirit. Yoga is a 5,000-year-old Indian body of knowledge. Though many think of yoga only as a physical exercise where people twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in the most complex of ways, yoga is much more than that which helps in unlocking the infinite and unknown potential of the human mind and soul.

It goes without saying that yoga helps a great deal in acquiring peace, stability and a very healthy body and mind, besides being an efficient way to cure or control numerous health-related problems.

Job profile

The job of a yoga instructor is a challenging task. Not only is the trainer required to suggest exercises and postures to keep fit, constant improvement of client’s mental stresses need to be taken into account, as well. A yoga professional should be able to train his client to practice meditation. A yoga trainer should also be smart enough to design a customised regimen to suit different needs of different people. The instructor should have the ability to encourage and inspire his/her clients to lead a healthy life.

Vibhor Gaur, who has been paying home visits to at least four clients for the past two years, told TGI while sharing his experience: “Suggesting exercises (asanas) is not at all difficult. What is daunting is to keep it consistent, thus, you have to inspire clients to maintain continuity,” further adding, “One thing that is clear from my experience is that most people know that yoga training balances out their stressful lifestyle that they are used to, but it takes time to bring yoga in their preferential list of activities, as they are still more than entrapped in their professional and personal lives. In such a scenario, our job as their trainers becomes extremely important.”

Course details

Professional qualification in the field of yoga is imparted at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For seeking admission to an undergraduate programme, one has to pass 10+2 in any stream from a recognised board. For post-graduation programmes, a minimum qualification is a Bachelor’s degree in any stream, preferably yogic sciences, from a recognised university, although philosophy graduates are also given preference.

There are several degree/diploma and certificate level courses being offered as well. Some of the degrees offered under this discipline are, B.Sc. in Yoga Science and Yoga therapy.

Career prospects

According to a 2011 Times of India report, some professionals who were making fortunes in their high-flying careers of engineering, advocacy and medical practice are switching lanes, by quitting their jobs to become yoga trainers. This clearly explains that therapists can take up jobs as instructors in resorts, gym, schools, health centres, tourist resorts, housing societies and other organisations.

Self-employment, however, remains the most opted way to start the profession, with newcomers opening yoga centres of their own, including home-visits to several renowned personalities, including film stars, politicians, businessmen and so on.

International demand

It has been the habit of human beings to look for something externally, without even bothering to look within. This, to an extent, has been the case with India. Despite it being the land of ancient yogic practices and exploration, it is the outsiders who are realising the importance of this gift.

Akant Sharma, a naturopathic professional, who runs an ashram a few kilometres from Delhi and is frequently invited by Western and European countries to organise yoga training programmes told TGI: “I have realised that foreigners are now aware of the importance of yoga in the life of any human being. I have visited countries like Canada and the US and have seen how keen people are to devote their lives for yogic science. All they need is a little introduction for which India’s role has become quite important.”

Remuneration

Yoga training is fast becoming a highly lucrative career option in India. A beginner can earn anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 25000 per month, while an experienced yoga trainer can earn up to Rs 50,000 per month.

Earnings of private trainers like Vibhor Gaur depends on how much time they are taking out to offer yoga training, as he puts it, “I give yoga training to three clients from 7 to 11 am every morning. I am not able to depute more time, as I am pursuing my masters alongside,” adding further, “I make nothing less than Rs 25,000 from these three commitments. My fee is very nominal.”

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