Yoga has become one of the most sought after fitness courses in China since 2015. From Surya Namaskars to Shavasana, all are becoming a favourite among the fitness conscious. Students or the working class, all are showing an inclination towards Yoga for both meditation and toning their bodies.
Since 2015, there have been persistent efforts in standardization and institutionalization of the ancient Indian practice. The foundation stone was set with the first China India Yoga College (CIYC) in the city of Kunming in 2015 ! This was part of the 24 point Sino-India agreement Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed with Chinese premier Li Keqiang in his three day China tour .Since then, Yoga has become an instrumental form of cultural exchange between India and China. The first college gained immediate popularity with thousands of people coming for the free lessons and many enrolling for full courses. According to Lu Fang, deputy director of the college, this pioneering effort saw around 3000 people signing up for the free classes in mere 5 months and the increasing demand led to the establishment of external branch in the city of Lijiang in the last week of December 2018.
India’s soft power in China’s cities have further promising potential as the state run college has an elaborate plan ahead. They have vowed to open a total of 50 branches in other cities, around 100 Yoga centers for Yoga teacher training, workshops and no-profit courses in the future. This success promises much scope for increased people to people exchanges, tourism and cooperation between India and China, making it a win-win situation for the two fastest growing Asian economies.