Yoga Writer – Monirul Hoque

Yoga writer
How and when did you learn Yoga?

I have been practicing Yoga since my early childhood. My mother is a meditation instructor; she motivated me to learn Yoga not only as an exercise method but also as a way to have higher consciousness and spiritual development. I learnt basic Yoga positions at the age of 10 but started practicing Yoga regularly after my High School Certificate exam at the age of 16.

How long have you been a Yoga teacher, and what experience have you had teaching since then?

In 2005, at the age of 20 I started working as an assistant Yoga trainer at a local studio and in 2008, after working as a assistant trainer for 3 years I started teaching Yoga as a full time trainer.

Do you have your own Yoga studio? Tell me about the Yoga classes that you teach?

Yes, I do have my own Yoga studio. I started operating this studio in 2010. I have a fully equipped Yoga studio which has all the facilities that a Yoga studio should have including
• Different courses for Adults, Teens and Kids
• Different class time for the people coming from different walks of the society
• Trained and experienced instructors
• In house training facilities for the trainers
• Professional but friendly environment

Tell us about the Yoga movement in Bangladesh. Is it popular among only Hindus or do people in other religions practice Yoga as well.

There is a common misconception that Yoga is a religion and only Hindus practice Yoga. But the truth is that Yoga is not a religion and none of its limbs related to rituals of any specific religion. Another common misconception regarding Yoga in Bangladesh is that only Hindus practice Yoga. But the fact is that not only Hindus people from every other religion practice Yoga here in Bangladesh. Though once upon a time Yoga was practiced only in Ashrams but now practicing Yoga is common in different walks of the society.

How is Yoga different in Bangladesh than in other countries?

A physio-spiritual exercise method, called Yoga ,was developed in this subcontinent and has been being practiced for almost over 2000 years it is a common practice in Bangladesh. Unlike other countries Yoga is not a profession here, it is a physio-spiritual practice for Bangladeshis.

Do both women and men teach Yoga in Bangladesh?

Yes, both women and men teach Yoga in Bangladesh. But it is true that practicing Yoga is more common in female communities than it is in male communities.

You are also a meditation teacher. Some people describe meditation as “Yoga of the mind.” What do you think about that?

I don’t believe Meditation is merely Yoga of mind. Meditation itself is a vast subject. Though Patanjali, father of Yoga, describes Meditation as one of his famous eight limbs, called “Eight limbs of great Patanjali”.

I have heard that more people do Yoga in the United States than in India, where it was created. What do Hindus from India and Bangladesh think about that? Why do you think Yoga has become so popular in the west?

Though it is true that the popularity of Yoga is increasing rapidly in the west, we cannot say that more people do Yoga in the United States than in India. The reason is that there is no such survey conducted in India. We have no specific data that shows how many people are practicing Yoga in India. And a lot of Sanyasi, guru or matajis practicing Yoga are not willing to take part in such surveys.

What are the most important lessons that Yoga and meditation have taught you about life?

The most important lessons that Yoga and meditation have taught me is “not to lose hope and be positive always regardless the situation or circumstances”. Yoga makes me feel better both physically and mentally and Meditation helps me keep focusing on what I want to accomplish.

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