Sunday, April 21, 2013
The origins of Dru Yoga - the Story of the Dru Star
Like many schools of yoga, Dru Yoga has gained a cult following in the West. But what are the origins of Dru Yoga?
‘Dru’ is the Sanskrit name for the North Star, and the origins of Dru Yoga can be found in the ancient Indian text called the Srimad Bhagavatam, written around 3,000years ago by Veda Vyasa. Vyasa also authored the Mahabharata (which contains another yoga philosophy classic, the Bhagavad Gita). The Bhagavatam includes the story of a young prince Dhruva (shortened to Dru) who sought a place of permanent peace where he could find true happiness. He searched in the forest looking for Narayaan (the creator) and was taught a mantra by Narad muni, a great teacher. The child Dru practised his mantra along with yoga poses including the Tree posture, and pranayama (breath control) with so much focus that the whole world was affected. The strength of the child’s spiritual practice was so great that the creator appeared to Dru, and gave him a permanent resting place – the North star (Dhruva Nakshatra).
The North star is a fixed point in the heavens, around which all the other starts and planets revolve. The Dru star represents the still point within each one of us. Despite our busy lives, Dru Yoga gives us the tools to remain in this still point of awareness, so they we do not get stressed by the busyness of life all around us. Dru Yoga’s poses, meditations and relaxations all help to remind us of this still point during the day and enable us to lead peaceful yet efficient lives.
Dru was first taught in the West by a small group of colleages at Bangor University, North Wales, UK from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mansukh Patel, John Jones, Rita Goswami, Annie Jones and Chris Barrington developed Dru Yoga which in the last 30 years has gained a cult status across the globe, due to its powerful yoga classes, calming meditations and effective relaxations. Dru Yoga’s origins in India thousands of years ago have indeed found a receptive audience in the stressed out modern world!