Impact of Digital Media on Yoga for the Youth

Despite several technological and scientific advancements, along with immense material progress and globalization, today’s generation at large has lost its peace of mind. In our attempt to climb the material corporate ladder, we are neglecting our quality of life and in the process inviting severe physical and psychological issues such as diabetes, hypertension and anxiety attacks amongst others.

The root cause of external maladies is internal distress. This distress exists due to non-existence of spiritual education in our current education system. A weak mind with misplaced values and poor judgment of ethics will eventually falter when faced with stressful situations. The key to alleviating this problem is to ensure that spiritual and Yogic knowledge is disseminated at an early age – either in schools or as a supplementary activity.

Several people all over the world are facing widespread discrimination and intolerance based on caste, creed and religious affiliations amongst other issues which is leading to international strife.  However, the global community is now realizing the importance of Yoga as a sure-shot remedial measure in preventing such atrocities from recurring.  This has become amply evident by the fact that 177 countries signed the proposal to declare 21st June as the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations.

Yoga is the union of the inner with the outer being. In other words, it is the process and art of understanding one’s self better. The journey to self-discovery as made popular by Western concepts in today’s digital age was indeed a concept propagated through Yoga by Rishis and Yogis more than 2,500 years ago. The process of self-improvement and Yoga go hand in hand and thus are extremely vital for the Youth to learn. Mere understanding of academic subjects is not enough for the Youth to successfully sail through the twists and turns of life.  Hence, the importance of Yoga as an intellectual and practical subject and not merely an extra-curricular physical activity needs to be urgently understood by the Youth.

The knowledge of Yoga if taught and propagated at an early age itself – would largely benefit society in Mumbai, India and the world at large. Moreover, Yogic knowledge should become accessible to the youth from every section of society. 

The Youth can greatly benefit from the pursuit of Yogic knowledge since its practice has the ability to improve and enhance grasping power and memory retention skills. Furthermore, Yoga improves the immune system drastically thus reducing absenteeism at educational institutes.

Therefore, Yogabhyas is the need of the hour.

According to research undertaken by Kaivalyadhama Yoga Research Lab – Yoga has an influence on motor functions along with aerobic power, oxygen consumption and work capacity. A rise of 10-15% in annual marks of a sample size of students has been witnessed when they practiced Yoga for a year. Hence, we can conclude that Yoga as an empowerment tool for the Youth is indisputable and its channel of communication has to be well picked in order for it to appeal to the Youth.

It has been noted that traditional and tried-tested channels of non-digital communication have not been able to position Yoga as an appealing necessity for the Youth. Moreover, the most frequented communication channels for the youth today are present on digital media. This understanding of the urgent need to bridge the gap between current instruments for spiritual knowledge dissemination and future digital instruments is essential.

A primary limitation of traditional channels of media and communication is its seeming irrelevance for the youth of today’s generation – which accord due importance to information they receive via digital channels.

However, knowledge dissemination through digital media could be ineffective if not performed correctly. Content creators must guard against being non-interactive and merely providing information without a humanistic touch as this could reduce student involvement in the process. Moreover, it could lead to the impersonalisation of the Yogic education system which was originally centered on the guru-shishya parampara.

Another issue worth addressing is the current lack of young people/Youth in the field of Yoga Education – resulting in a feeling of alienation with a majority of yoga teachers today belonging to the older generation. This article thus searches for methods by which the Youth can use digital media, as a career platform, to spread Yogic knowledge.

Today, every business is a digital one. Online digital media users are using social networking and mobility to transform their education levels and stay well-informed. In response to the rise of the digital consumer, every sector in the offline arena is looking to leverage digital technologies to drive new levels of customer engagement and competitive advantage. Therefore, can the Yogic and Health sectors stay behind?

Yoga and meditation has been piquing the interest of several users/ youth, however authentic information on Yoga as a subject is scantily available through digital media.

The digital media technologies that could be used include – video creation, social media, blog posts, digital virtual reality experiences, short film/documentaries, performance art based on Yogic culture and knowledge. These could be merged with performing arts to demonstrate the effectiveness of Yogic practices. 

Therefore, there is huge potential for knowledge on Yoga, in its most authentic form, to be communicated to the Youth through Digital Media channels.

Author is a student in her early 20’s, an entrepreneur and IYA Certified Yoga instructor, who is passionate about the literary and performing arts. Her constant endeavor to encourage others to unearth their potential led to the creation of a Yoga and Wellness Club in H.R. College known as SYNC. An accomplished orator, writer, dancer and leader; she dons several hats and has represented India at several leadership conferences. Anvita is currently working on spreading awareness about Yoga for the Youth and Healthy Living on her Instagram Account, YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.

This article must not be used in other publication or reproduced in part or full without express permission of the author.

 

To read articles on eSamskriti

1 Asanas and Pranayama

2 Therapy

3 Meditation