'Yoga or Gym' by Ipsita Sinha (CL's MBA aspirant)

Residing in this temple, I've been shamed for ages, Presiding over protests, I've been blamed for ages. Who knows what's next, Who cares what's best. A quick glimpse of my poetic ingenuity at the beginning of the essay, highlighting the rhetoric that one's body is a temple. When I look back to answer this rhetoric I'm bewildered with a tsunami of arguments that hit the shore of my mind. Hence, as cynical as it sounds "Who knows what's next, Who knows what's best." 'Yoga or Gym?' Well, let me know the one that disregards dieting. Nonetheless, the former to me sounds more soothing. One would reap benefits from either of the options except that the latter would validate the "I don't have time" excuse much quicker than the former. Yoga needs perseverance, the art of understanding your body and loving it each day throughout the calming process of inhaling positivity and exhaling toxicity of sorts. Gym, on the other hand, upholds a propagandist ideology. You do it because it is in trend. But since when did splurging hundreds of thousands of hard earned money become the Indian stereotype? It makes you loathe your body, the temple you had earlier adorned with your favorite outfits is now a grotesque skeleton preoccupied with bulges and fat rolls around the belly. It is an alarm clock set in a chronology of 'body shaming', 'self- pity', and 'guilt trip'. Set aside the TO DO list, if humans maintained a TO BURN OUT list, the scathing reality of strenuous gymming would have topped their notification bar. In my opinion, gym is a place where humans go to seek validation, an umbrella term comprising as small as validation for one's fancy gym wear, one's Instagram stories with frivolous filters holding dumbbells and working out on treadmills. Amidst such extravaganza yoga becomes the black sheep considered to be for the old, not just in age but in perspective too. What we fail to understand is the psychological journey one experiences through yoga. The sheer synchronization of the heart and the mind, the silence of the soul, the peace of mind that reflects in one's disposition towards the world and its happenings is what defines yoga in its entirety. Occupying a free and open corner of your house, with cost effective amenities such as fresh air and self-love one can experience this healing journey of the mind from the dark trenches of traumatic memories of the past to a more pleasing present. Unfortunately, yoga is like the deprived section of society that succumbed to modern thoughts and easy money never being bestowed the opportunity to become the trend setter in a world where the ancient is accepted only when it is too late to mend. Readers and especially the fitness gurus or freaks like we address it now might disagree in entirety and I wouldn't mind it if and only if they could answer one question for me, "Why, in the first place do we celebrate an International Yoga Day? Is it because of the perplexing crisis of the situation or merely to fuel the innate hyprocrisy we as humans uphold?" And once answered let me know "Will there be an International Gym Day emerging soon?" The underlying reality speaks a little differently. Let us for some time stop quoting Google and forcing ourselves into believing that this celebration was the need of the hour. I am a woman, a minority to be specific and I do not buy this argument. We as a race, a country, and as a world celebrate those people, those ideas and those things that have either stemmed out of war and bloodshed or out of non-existence in the present world. Be it the Women's Day to create puffery about women and their significant role in society or the upcoming International Yoga Day where ministers would occupy podiums tracing the gift wrapped history of it and educating masses about its significance ironically just for one day. However, the reality is, despite several attempts by people Yoga which was once an integral part of people's living is now groveling in the lowly dust fallen prey to oblivion's curse.