The Preceptor of Yoga

The Preceptor of ‘Yoga’ in Pakistan -Shahbaz Khan

By Sanjay Godbole

April 2011

Some readers may fee! surprised. if a Statement is made that the ‘Yoga’ is popular in Pakistan and that the curriculum there Covers teaching of various Yogic postures (Yogasanas). It is a fact all the same. Gujrat is a small town in the Punjab province of Pakistan. A couple – Riyaz khan and Rehana avoid not have imagined that Rehana would bear a son who would be the first Yoga propagator of Pakistan. The name of this preceptor of Yoga of Pakistan is Shahbaz Ali Khan. At present Shahbaz Khan is active as a full time Yoga Instructor in Pakistan. Since very childhood, Shahbaz Ali adored marfia! arts. He Practised ‘Judo’ since the year 1988. Shahbaz Khan, who has to his credit Black Bell- eight -dan vvon the National Championship Competition for martial arts. Not only that but he bagged a Bronze Medal at the ‘Asian Martial Arts competition’ held in India and since then, he was popularly addressed as ‘Young Master Khan’. He thereafter, got an assignment as a full time trainer for the police Commandoes at the town of Gujrat (in Punjab – Pakistan). Then, very soon he founded the “Pakistan’ martial arts Federation”. He was totally dedicated to the work of infusing interest for the various martial arts, such as Kungfu, Chinese boxing, Karate, Nanchaku & Heichi, in the minds of the Youth. He also started a quarterly publication, titled ‘Shahbaz Fighter Magazine, in Pakistan, for the propagation of martial arts. Shahbaz khan, though educated in Arts faculty and in the science of Computer Designing, decided to devote himself for the spread of martial arts.

Once, it so happened that Shahbaz Khan, was required to go to Malaysia, on account of some work -and had to stay there for a period of three long years. in Malaysia, he was acquainted with one Tarique Wasim- an expert in Yogic sciences and was fascinated towards Yoga. He practised Pranayama and other major Yogic poses, in Malaysia. Due to his diligence in various Sports activities, it was easier for Mr Khan to have mastery over Yoga skills within a short span of time. He returned to Pakistan in the year 2003 and resolved to popularize ‘Yoga’ and started teaching Yoga to those desirous to do so. Initially, he started his Yoga teaching classes at’ Gujrat’ his native place. Many at that time, started Yoga practice under his guidance. Shahbaz Khan, made an in-depth study of the science of Yoga through the principles, stipulated by I various Yoga authorities all over the would. Wich growing popularity and importance of Yoga in Pakistan. Mr Khan set out the following curricula for ‘Yoga’ for the people of Pakistan.

‘Ruhani’ Yoga :- In this Yoga’ chiefly,’ Pranayama’ [Breath Control] is taught. ‘Olympic’ Yoga :- In this Yoga System, necessary training is given to sportspersons to remain fit by practising twenty Yogic Asanas ( postures).

‘Clinical’ Yoga:- In this System, Yogic poses are effectively used with a view to eure and control abdominal disorders, pain in joints and neck etc.

‘Fitness’ Yoga :- This System is centered around reducing obesity and increasing height

Beauty Yoga :- This System helps attaining ‘feel good and look cute’ stage, to rejuvenate and to iron out wrinkles and creases.

Tei – chung Yoga – This yogic practice is traditionally from China, and Consists of meditation and exercises as per Chinese system.

Shahbaz Khan has now shifted from his native place Gujrat and has settled at ‘Lahore’. ‘Becon house school system’ the world famous educational institute from England runs a school at Lahore and Shahbaz Khan has been imparting the training for the art of Yogic Sciences to about three hundred students for the last three years. His daily routine Starts by six in the morning. Being a Yoga preeeptor himself, he has to practise Yoga every day. He then teaches his students various Yogic Postures such as Padmasana, Sarwangasana, Mayurasana, Bhujangasana, Kurmasana, Matsyasana etc’. He says Yoga is gaining popularity in Pakistan. There is a definite craze, in Pakistan,, for Indian movies. Many Pakistani Young women are following the foot prints of many Indian actresses and are practising Yoga for health improvement. Shahbaz Khan further says that Yoga is being treated as a preventive therapy against many diseases in Pakistan. Mr. Khan further adds that he has definitely been benefited by Yoga, and has a flexible body and has an improved breathing. The general inmunity increases and both physical and mental health is maintained. In the eleventh Century, a treatise on Yoga, titled ‘Amrit Kunda’ was translated in the Arabic language. This gave the people in the middle east, the apt Information of the Indian Yoga system. Now Mr. Shahbaz Khan has compiled vast information about Yogic postures.

In response to the huge popularity for Yoga in Pakistan, The Geo T.V. Channel had invited Shahbaz Khan for his presentations. He has also participated in the T.V. Show by Nadia Khan. Print media such as Daily Pakistan, Nava-e-waqt, Jazba have been all praise for the skills of Shahbaz Khan in Yogic sciences. Shahbaz Khan is all set out to See that a Programme on Yogasanas could soon be a regular feature on Pakistan Television.

Yoga is a practical science and one has only to practise and experience it to believe it. Yoga is a treasure given by ancient India to the world. The various aspects of Yoga have been given full exposition in old and ancient scriptures like Upanishadas. The body kept in ful Peontrol by practising Yoga is emaneipated from the i!i effects of senility. Pranayama is the control! of breathing process. This is the first Asana in Hath Yoga. ( Ha means the Sun and ‘Th’ means the Moon). The Sun and the Moon in turn control! breathing. Shahbaz Khan has an intense desire to come and stay in India for further advanced studies in Yogic sciences. Shahbaz Khan has worked as a preeeptor of Yoga against all odds and endeavoured to spread Yoga in a place like Pakistan where the prevailing circumstances are not so conducive for the same. The work of Shahbaz Khan is really commendable in the field of Yoga, which he believes is highly effective for both physical and mental health. Shahbaz Khan has future designs to fan out his network in places other than Lahore for his noble mission.

*(The author is a museologist/archeologist based at Pune)