Introduction

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The word Yoga is derived from Sanskrit Yuj – which means to unite or integrate’. Yoga is most commonly is known to be a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced world over for health and relaxation. The famous Patanjali defined Yoga – “Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodhah”, which means “Yoga is the removal of the fluctuations of the mind”. Chitta is mind, Vrittis are thought impulses, Nirodah is removal.

The Yoga Sūtras codifies the royal or best (raja) Yoga practices, presenting these as an eight-limbed system (Ashtānga). The philosophic tradition is related to the Sankhya school. The focus is on the mind; the second Sutra defines Yoga – it is the cessation of all mental fluctuations, all wandering thoughts cease and the mind is focused on a single thought. In contrast to the focus on the mind in the Yoga Sutras, later traditions of Yoga such as the Hatha Yoga focus on more complex Asanas or body postures.

Nowadays Yoga is being practiced mainly around elevating the life force or ‘Kundalini’ which is aimed to achieve through a series of physical and mental exercises. At the physical level, the methods comprise various Yoga postures or ‘Asanas’ that aim to keep the body healthy. The mental techniques include breathing exercises or ‘Pranayama’ and meditation or ‘Dhyana’ to discipline the mind.

It has been widely reported that since human are mix of physical, mental and spiritual being, Yoga achieves the following:

  • Attainment of perfect equilibrium and harmony
  • Promotes self- healing and freeing mind from negative blocks from the mind and toxins from the body
  • Enhances Personal power and increases self-awareness
  • Helps in attention focus and concentration
  • Reduces stress and tension in the physical body by activating the Parasympathetic nervous system

The Hon’ble Prime Minister has desired to spread India’s traditional knowledge worldwide with credible systems which shall provide India the leadership in assuring quality of Yoga practices across the world.

The Ministry of AYUSH in pursuance of the above and in the wake of declaration of International Day of Yoga recognizes there is a huge demand for Yoga experts at national and international level.

QCI has designed the Scheme for Voluntary Certification of Yoga Professionals by adopting the principles and requirements laid down in the international standard, ISO/IEC 17024:2012 (E) General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons especially clause 8 that describes the elements of the scheme.

The draft Competence Standard was prepared by engaging group of experts having knowledge on different schools of Yoga. This included School of Ashtang Yoga, Shivananda School of Yoga with Ashatang Yoga and Vedanta Philosophy, Ashtang Yoga of Patanjali Yoga Sutra.

The draft was presented to a Steering Committee constituted for the purpose of multi stake holder consultation, chaired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji having members from the Government, Yoga Institutions, Universities, Industry Bodies, related Organizations, and individual experts for discussion and seeking concurrence from experts representing various Schools of Yoga.

By using the same methodology QCI developed the following documents for Certification of Yoga Schools

  • Defining the certification criteria to be complied with by the Yoga Schools
  • Defining the process of evaluation and certification in the form of the Certification Process
  • Laying down requirements for competence and operation of assessment bodies through Accreditation
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