One of India’s first exports to China was the art of self defence or as more popularised today – Shaolin. Today, when India-China relations are flourishing once again, Yoga as a form of peace and tranquility is being formally exported to the Middle Kingdom.
Immensely popular in a variety of forms, Yoga is practiced by almost every office going urban Mandarin, – especially women. Burdened by a rapidly altering socio-economic space, pressures from the one-child policy and stress from living in Asia’s fastest growing nation, Yoga studios have sprouted across every gym, neighborhood and street corner in China’s major cities.
It’s suddenly cool to know yoga.
Established by an Indian-Chinese couple – Yin Yan, former Editor in Chief of the Chinese edition of the ELLE international fashion magazine, who married Manmohan Singh Bhandari, a Yoga exponent from Rishikesh – one of India’s holiest cities, China will get its first Yoga school. The school which will train pupils to initially practice and later teach yoga themselves will be started in Beijing.
Concerning itself primarily with Hatha Yoga (an abstract form which involves a detachment of the mind from the external world), the institute will have branches spread across the country, including in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The entire course is estimated to cost US$ 4000. The institute will focus not only on yoga, but also on organising seminars for other art forms such as Tai Chi and other spiritual and physical forms.