Ghosh with Nosh – Sunday June 21, 9.30 am – 11.30 am Singapore

BishnuWandering Yogi is co-hosting an event with an up and coming raw food and wellness chef, VivCanCook& Heal, to celebrate International Yoga Day. ‘Nosh’ is a term used to describe food, and Ghosh is the man whose lineage is responsible for this wandering yogi’s love of all things yoga. This story sets the context for the yoga we will do on the event day. Almost 70 years ago, a yoga master and physical culturist named Bishnu Charan Ghosh saw a loud-mouthed six year old kid named Bikram showing off yoga postures to a friend at a gym.  Bishnu Ghosh took Bikram under his wing for the next twenty years and taught him Hatha Yoga and other physical culture. At 13, Bikram was the 13 year old All-India Yoga Asana Champion and a record-breaking weight lifter.  When an 18 year old Bikram had his knee crushed in a weight lifting accident, the doctors told him he would never walk again and wanted to amputate the leg. He limped back to Bishnu instead, and his guru healed him in six months through an intense and grueling routine of physical culture and yoga.  This incident inspired Bikram to become a yoga teacher, heal ‘broken down bodies’ and ‘screw loose’ brains (his words). But like all yoga history, there is another history behind all this. Bishnu was initially taught yoga (84 asanas from the yogananda school – Yogananda was his older brother), but was scrawny until he went to college and took up what is euphemistically called ‘physical culture’ (which involved the throwing of large balls and weight lifting). He went back to yoga after people paid to see him flex his muscles. But his yoga school wasn’t one where you meditated to achieve Samadhi. His school set up performance troupes, who travelled India and the USA, performing acrobatic feats, displayed shows of immense strength and then wowed the audience with some difficult asanas. The 84 asanas are the basis of all Hatha Yoga, and Ghosh lineage draws from this (it has 91). Ghosh yoga has a number of elements to it – physical alignment (critical to all Hatha yoga), stillness and a set of core programs (designed by Ghosh to make yoga accessible to all, not just the skinny flexible few). The postures are performed one at a time, without the “flow” in many styles of yoga. Each posture is meant to stretch, compress and stimulate specific regions of the body. They are always followed by a brief rest (5 – 20 seconds) whereby the body resets and circulation returns to normal. Asanas are held for 10-30 seconds. The yoga sequence we see in Bikram are drawn directly from the Ghosh yoga (Core 26), and the term ‘lock the knee’ was one that Bikram learnt painfully in his recovery with Ghosh. You can find out more about the event by contacting me. Om Shanti…

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