Indian mystic and author, founder and head of the Isha Foundation, Sadhguru (Jaggi Vasudev) poses during the International Day of Yoga at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on June 21, 2023. (Photo by Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP) (Photo by STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP via Getty Images)
The globally acclaimed yoga instructor, Sadhguru, has a staggering online following of over 10 million devoted followers. With an optimistic outlook, he envisions an unlimited potential for the growth of his followers in the years to come.
“I think in 25 years you will have probably 60 to 70 percent of the world doing some form of yoga,” he told AFP during a visit to Paris this week.
“Yoga is a science that was first transmitted by the first yogi 15,000 years ago but until now no generation was ready to address their well-being — and all aspects of who they are — in a scientific manner using these tools,” he added.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of individuals were introduced to Sadhguru, a 65-year-old spiritual leader also known as Jagadish “Jaggi” Vasudev.
His daily videos on Instagram emerged as an indispensable resource for navigating the challenges of lockdowns.
Interweaving profound life lessons, yoga teachings, and lighthearted musings with bursts of laughter, Sadhguru’s content struck a chord with his audience.
Yoga’s global recognition has been steadily growing, as it is increasingly acknowledged for its multitude of health benefits, particularly in stress reduction and physical flexibility maintenance.
Dressed as usual in a turban and a huge light-coloured shawl, Sadhguru said yoga’s “internal tools” of meditation, postures, breathing and mantras were “within everyone’s reach”.
“More people are intellectually active than ever before in the history of humanity… This generation and the coming generations are really ready for yoga,” he said.
“It’s only now we are able to understand … our relationship to the world around us,” he added.
“The age of yoga has come!”
– ‘Technology for well-being’ –
Sadhguru has many celebrity fans, from Will Smith and Matthew McConaughey to Paris Hilton and Andrea Bocelli, who welcome the way he gears ancient teachings to their materialist world.
He is also close to prime minister Narendra Modi, who has made yoga a central part of his image.
But Sadhguru says yoga is not a purely Indian phenomenon.
“People are identifying it with India, with Hinduism, but no, it has nothing to do with that,” he said.
He says it was kept alive for thousands of years in India because it was a relatively peaceful corner of the world protected by natural barriers.
“We managed to preserve it … but a time has come when the world will go towards it, because this is not a philosophy, an ideology.
“This is not a new religion. This is a technology for well-being.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re black, white, man or woman. Whatever you are, if you learn to use it, like your camera or your phone, it will work for you.”
A keen biker, Sadhguru is also part of several projects around the environmental and biodiversity.
He has a renowned yoga centre and non-profit foundation, Isha, based at Coimbatore in southern India that has planted some 25 million trees, among other projects.