In 2014, the National Bikram Yoga Foundation (NBGF) in India, a private company that helps develop and run the nation’s yoga and meditation schools, announced that it would open a yoga and mindfulness center in the capital city of New Delhi.
NBGF had set up an online platform called Yoga India that allows users to find other yoga teachers in India and post their names, email addresses and phone numbers.
According to a 2015 report by the Global Yoga Institute, there were roughly 3,000 yoga teachers globally.
But, according to NBGFs executive director Amit Sharma, in 2017, there was only a handful of yoga teachers practicing in India.
“There are only about 500 yoga teachers who practice in India,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times.
“So the idea was to give it a try and have it go on.”
Sharma said the company was hoping to help connect people with teachers, to get them into the yoga space, and to provide opportunities for people to get certified.
“We hope to be able to create an ecosystem where people can get trained,” he told the FT.
“In India, there are a lot of problems with the education system, so we want to help empower people.”
The program has been funded by a US$2.3 million grant from the US Department of Education.
Sharma said they had been able to recruit around 5,000 people from across India, and were in talks with more than 10,000 teachers to start teaching classes in the next few months.
The program is open to anyone who wants to get into yoga, he said, though not everyone is able to take up the offer.
The company is currently looking for yoga teachers from different parts of India.
Sharma was adamant that they were not targeting people from poor or remote areas.
“When we started it, we did not think of it as a charity,” he says.
“But it is a business and we have to get the money, and that is what we are trying to do.”
Sharma has been working in the yoga industry since 2011, when he founded a company called Yoga Yoga Studios in New Delhi to make the business more accessible to students.
He had already started yoga studios in India in the 1980s, and in 2012, he founded the yoga company in New York called Yoga Bikras.
He started Yoga Bikkrs in 2012 to sell yoga mats to private schools and hospitals, and now Yoga Bitchums has opened in New Zealand, where he has set up yoga studios as well.
He says that he wants to do more yoga, more regularly, in order to help the country grow, and improve the quality of education.
“The yoga industry is in its infancy right now, and the quality is very poor,” he tells the FT, adding that there are currently no yoga studios, and only a few studios in the US.
“People want to do yoga, but the quality, which is very good, is very low,” he explains.
“I am trying to get in the studio of yoga, to be a teacher in the future. “
I will teach classes and have teachers, and I would be the one doing yoga.” “
I am trying to get in the studio of yoga, to be a teacher in the future.
I will teach classes and have teachers, and I would be the one doing yoga.”
Sharma hopes that Yoga Bitties will be a model for other yoga programs around the world.
He believes that, at a global level, there should be a more holistic approach to teaching, and he hopes that people will be encouraged to try yoga more frequently.
“My main motivation is to get more people to practise yoga, not to make it more expensive,” he continues.
“Every time I do a class, I feel like I am getting a real workout.
I have so many people coming to me.
One day, I will open a studio for people from rural areas, and for people who are not able to afford to go, they should be able get an online certification.”