The Madras Sanskrit College  launched ‘Yoga Praveshika’, an introductory course on Yoga on its e-Learning platform.  The course is focused on teaching people the authentic eight step yoga ‘ashtaanga yoga’ envisaged by Sage Pathanjali.

As part of this course, students will explore the evolution of Yoga within the structure of ancient Indian scriptures and the six main ancient Indian philosophies (Darshanas). The course also seeks to dispel myths or incorrect perceptions about the practice of Yoga. The key philosophical concepts are explained using Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras which is the foundational text for Yoga. The corresponding sutra is chanted in Sanskrit followed by an explanation of the word meanings or ‘padaartha’. Finally, an elaboration on the contextual meaning and link to the underlying concept is explained. At the end of each lesson, students are taught a new yoga aasana with the correct use of breath along with guidelines to keep in mind while practicing the postures.

The course will help beginners or people unfamiliar with Yoga to get a better understanding of the origins, key texts and key concepts.

At the end of this course students will be able to 1) understand the true import of Yoga and key concepts related to it 2) learn key sutras from the Yoga Sutra text and understand their meaning; 3) learn 8 Yoga Asanas and one Pranayama technique. However the larger intent is to whet the appetite of students for doing a deeper study of yoga and enrich their asana practice. This course will be followed up with a series of advanced courses to help the practitioner to develop his expertise in the field.

The course was designed and developed by two IT professionals Sri Aravind Rajagopalan and Sri. Shyam Raman. Both were trained at Krishnamachari Yoga Mandiram (popularly called KYM). The course is designed in the tradition established by Sri T Krishnamacharya and Sri. TKV Desikachar..

The course was inaugurated by Sri Sivakumar, a famous actor of the silver screen. Besides being an actor who has received many national and state awards, Sri. Sivakumar is a great painter, and a public speaker who has a big following in Tamil Nadu. 

In his opening address, Sri Sivakumar outlined how he started the practice of yoga. Essentially he was a self taught yogic practitioner. The actor outlined how yoga helped him develop his body, mind spirit and memory. He was able to perform extraordinary feats - biking over 180 kms, withstanding freezing cold temperatures, etc. because of his yoga practice. He explained how Pranayama, the breath control which is an integral part of yoga, keeps one healthy and long lived. He was able to memorize 100 slokas of the Kamba Ramayanam in no time. His amazing feats of memory were possible only because of his yogic routine.

Yogacharya Sri. Vasudevan Namboothiri came all the way from his native Kerala to be a special guest for the occasion. In his special address Yogacharya explained how breath was critical to relieve tension and performance of yoga, especially Praanayama, helped one to be physically, mentally, socially and spiritually well. This wellness is what has been used in the definition of well being by the W.H.O.

The course is completely online and offered on Madras Sanskrit College’s Digital Campus. It consists of 9 lessons and costs Rs. 750. The course is offered using Classle Knowledge’s MOOC (massively organized online course) which is based on cloud computing technology.

The course may be accessed using the following link –