While the new trends voga and moga are taking the world by storm, yoga experts closer home say traditions can’t be replaced
Get ready to strike a ‘Voga’ pose, as the ancient science of yoga gets down and dirty with a Madonna-inspired makeover. While there are yoga experts, who say the original forms of yoga are boring and tedious, are incorporating elements of dance and music to reach out to higher levels of consciousness, there are also traditional yoga gurus who say that this disrupts the very purpose of yoga.
Voga, Moga, what’s that?
Fusing fashion, fun and fitness is the latest exercise ‘Voga’, a combination of voguing, a dance featuring model-like poses, and yoga. ‘Moga’ or musical yoga is another variation steadily gaining popularity among fitness enthusiasts.
Juliet Murrell, the brainchild behind ‘Voga’ and the founder of House of Voga, says it was love of yoga, fashion, music and partying that inspired her to create her workout. Her classes promise to tone, lengthen and strengthen body alongside the feel good factor provided by an empowering 80s soundtrack. “It feels more like a night out than a workout as we move, Madonna-like, through exaggerated poses with names such as ‘The Sphinx’, ‘The Centaur’ and ‘The Vogue Express’,” she reportedly says.
Why opt for the new yoga?
Madhav, founder of KIPA dance and fitness academy in Delhi says, “Traditional yoga, especially for the youngsters, is too slow and not ‘cool’, which is why this form of mental and physical workout has to resort to blends to find a larger fan following.”
The peak of ‘Moga’, ‘Voga’ and the likes was achieved when the Royal College of Music in London recently organised a classical music recital along with traditional yoga asanas — and the whole thing became very ‘hip’. Combining yoga and music is not a recent phenomena, though the semantics of these new words may be.”
Nothing beats traditional yoga
Madhav, however, believes that the traditional form of yoga is one of the most powerful forms of exercise. He says, “It combines the fat burning techniques of cardio, with muscle stretches and spot training to be possibly the only form of exercise that can holistically work on the body. The traditional combinations of sound vibrations, movements and yoga has been around for too long only to be rediscovered with new phrases and names recently.
Music and yoga make for a very powerful combination based on two elements — one, that music and specifically instrumental beats allow the mind to de-stress giving you more room to focus on your breathing and yourself, and that’s one of the key requirements to do yoga correctly; secondly, it pushes the belief that the entire cosmos is made of sound vibrations and therefore, the vibrations from music especially live music play a crucial role in opening our chakras and truly allowing us to connect with ourselves and the universe.”
On the other hand, holistic health and yoga guru Mickey Mehta says, “Since, yoga is all about inner peace and relaxing your body, mind, heart and soul, one should go for softer and soothing musical notes rather than loud rock or funky jazz soundtracks while practising such forms of yoga. These trends will never take away the essence of yoga, they will just attract people towards traditional yoga and make them understand it in a better form.”
City’s yoga therapist Padmaja Bandreddi too doesn’t agree, saying, “We practise traditional yoga where people have to be in a calm and quiet surrounding to channel their inner peace. So, I don’t quite agree with this practise. But sometimes we do use simple chantings of mantras or sounds that are not related to any particular religion while practising yoga.”