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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Guru attacks modern yoga teachers
Swami Ji
Swami Ji said yoga was for those who could live away from the world
A yoga guru from East Sussex has criticised celebrities and fitness enthusiasts who he says only promote the physical side of the art form.

Swami Ji, 82, who runs classes in Bexhill, is also worried many are pursuing yoga for financial gain.

"They are not concerned with the mind - they are only going to shown you the jumping up and down," he said.

The British Wheel of Yoga said "it wasn't such a bad thing" if the art form was taken up for physical reasons.

'Holistic view'

Pierre Bibby, chief executive officer of the charity which is the governing body for yoga in the UK, and who has been practicing the ancient art form for a year, said people could take what they wanted from yoga.

"With the greatest respect to Swami I've taken something from it because it's improved my posture."

But he said yoga gurus taught the complete holistic view, which included the philosophical and spiritual sides as well as the physical.

Swami Ji, who began studying yoga 40 years ago, added: "Yoga is for those people who can live away from the world."

Yoga is a system of philosophy which originated in India 5,000 years ago.

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