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Yoga is not a religious act, but develops ‘healthy mind in healthy body’

On Sunday morning, I was at Hyderabad Airport. As I reached early before schedule of my flight, I went to Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living Mediation Centre which is inside the airport. I was very much curious to know about their tagline which says, leave your stress here and travel. I went inside the centre and joined them for 20 minutes Meditation programme. It was all breathing exercise, feeling the ambience, understanding the emotions, understanding your mindsets and also respecting your body and soul. It has several kriyas that strengthen the immune system and help people stay healthy and strong. Believe me, performing yoga is the best way to stay healthy, combat illness and beat stress. Yoga is beyond physical poses, its self-invention, self-education and self-expansion. In twenty minutes, I did meditation which refreshes me and I was feeling energised. I understood the importance of correct breathing. While leaving the centre, I planned a programme for myself.

We, Indians are blessed with Yogic science to rediscover ourselves and stay calm and composed while attaining out goals. Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji have introduce and spread the yoga and meditation in their way, now Modi called for observing an International Yoga Day, describing the ancient science as “India’s gift to the world.” India is all set for this mega event on 21 June. Modi will lead around 40,000 people at Delhi’s Rajpath performing asanas to mark the first International Yoga Day. However, the entire event is gradually looking at his PR strategy. Yoga was discovered in India, but it received step motherly treatment here in India while others are deriving benefits out of it. Yoga’s importance was acknowledged by Modi to the world.

Yoga is not a religious act, but it is an art of living, which develops ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. Human is a physical, mental and spiritual being; yoga helps promote a balanced development of all the three. Other forms of physical exercises like aerobics or gymnasium assure only physical well-being. They have little to do with the development of the spiritual or astral body. Yogic exercises recharge the body with cosmic energy. The art of practicing yoga helps in controlling an individual mind, body and soul. It brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind, it helps to manage stress and anxiety and keep you relaxing. It also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improves respiration, energy and vitality. Practicing yoga might seem like just stretching, but it can do much more for your body from the way you feel, look and move.

Nowadays, people are addicted to artificial methods of treating their body. Beauty salons are mushrooming in cities and becoming priorities. However, wrong food habits, lack of sleep, addictions are resulting in pre-matured aging and health disorders. Here, cosmetic centers and its doctors are making profit by showing you dreams of transformation and make you fit and fine. Actresses like Rekha, Bipasha Basu, Shilpa Shetty, Lara Dutta etc have proved how yoga helped them. The true essence of Yoga revolves around elevating the life force or ‘Kundalini’ at the base of the spine. It aims to achieve this through a series of physical and mental exercises. At the physical level, the methods comprise various yoga postures or ‘asanas’ that aim to keep the body healthy. The mental techniques include breathing exercises or ‘pranayama’ and meditation or ‘dhyana’ to discipline the mind. The ultimate goal of yoga is, however, to help the individual to transcend the self and attain enlightenment. As the Bhagavad-Gita says, “A person is said to have achieved yoga, the union with the Self, when the perfectly disciplined mind gets freedom from all desires, and becomes absorbed in the Self alone.”

One of yoga’s primary benefits for adults is the mitigation of stress. Students may be young, but they are immune to stress. Family pressure, financial fears, academic performance standards and peer groups can all take a toll on a student’s psyche and success in school. A study published in the “International Journal of Yoga” in 2009 examined the effect of yoga on academic performance on highly stressed adolescent students. The researchers — from MGN College of Education in Jalandhar, India — found that seven weeks of regularly doing poses, practicing yoga breathing and participating in mediation practice reduced students’ stress levels, which translated into better academic performance. A later study performed by Harvard Medical School researchers and published in the January 2012 issue of the “Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research” also found that high-school students who participated in yoga instead of traditional physical education offerings for a semester exhibited improvements in mood, anxiety, perceived stress and resilience.

I am sure, people like me would be really thankful to our PM for emphasizing on Yoga and wellness of people across the globe. However, when we are talking about Yoga, we cannot ignore a person who made it reach to the common people; Baba Ramdev. He is the one who popularized yoga among Indians through his mass yoga camps and televangelism. He went places to places to convince people about the importance of Yoga and Ayurveda. His contribution is amazingly remarkable.

I hope, you will not only take part in International Yoga Day on 21st June, but also involve it in your lifestyle to live a healthy life.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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