Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…
On the occasion of 6th International Day of Yoga, Indian Yoga Association and Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University, Kanpur joined hands for an international webinar Yoga – A New Future organized on June 23, 2020. In one-of-its-kinds of initiative we brought together the Yoga experts with University bigwigs to talk about how can the amalgamation of Yoga and education show us a new future.
Smt.Ekta Bouderlique, Working Director, IYA anchored the webinar. She was also part of the Organising Committee. The online initiative saw participation from Guruji Dr. HR Nagendra, Chancellor, SVYASA and President, IYA, Prof. Neelima Gupta, Vice Chancellor, CSJMU, Sri R. Subrahamanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary- General of The Global Interfaith WASH Allaince and Honorary Director, IYA, Dr Rajvi Mehta, Teacher, Iyengar, Yogasharya, Mumbai, Shri Kaustaubh Desikachar, Director, Krishanmacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation, Prof Madan Lal Brahma Bhatt, VC, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, Ved Prakash Sharma (IPS), Inspector General of Police (Retd.). The organizing committee of the program had Shri Ravi Tumuluri, Joint Secretary, IYA, Dr Harishankar Singh, Convener, Coordinator, Department of Education, BBAU, Lucknow and Dr Praveen Katiyar, Organising Secretary, Coordinator, UIHC, CSJMU, Kanpur.
Welcoming all Prof.Neelima Gupta, Chief Patron initiated the webinar. Emphasising on the importance of Yoga she said, “When our country and the entire world is dealing with a pandemic like COVID-19 and we don’t have a vaccination then Yoga can be the answer. It helps us to boost immunity.
“This IDY is really special as we are looking at Yoga to strengthen immune system. We should pledge to include yoga in our lives not only to help ourselves, but the entire humanity. We feel privileged to be collaborating with IYA to spread message of Yoga” she added.
Being the torchbearer of Yoga, Guruji Dr HR Nagendra, Chief Guest spoke about relevance of Yoga and how can yoga help us all create a new future. He said, “COVID-19 will bring a paradigm shift in our understanding to move from matter based paradigm to consciousness based approach, which will be the new bases of life.
“Change in the lifestyle will reap dividends. If we learn to give without expectations, it will be very helpful. It is important for the youth to understand that their ambition is very small. Living a life free of stress and relaxation is what yoga gives us and is of utmost importance. We have to move towards higher way of life.
“The professions or passion that the youth is running after presently only gives them stress, tension, lack of peace and unhappiness. Whereas, if we follow the natural law, we may always move to a higher level that will offer us peace, calmness, contentment, unison with your soul.
Yoga is the revolution in the making. New world order will come up. IYA was established to synergies the efforts all Yoga masters and now it is the time that IYA comes forward and show the world the way to live.”
Agreeing to Guruji and answering the question about the immediate future we are looking Sri R Subrahmanyam, Guest of Honour said, “IDY on June 21 is celebrated to rediscover our roots, the roots on which the entire edifice is based. Yoga internally transforms an individual because it brings clarity of thinking, disciplined way of living. Yoga is a very personal experience. It is in this crisis that the best of the humanity is to come out. Yoga is the most relevant in these times. Everybody must take it and explore it.”
Talking about how yoga will appeal to youth, he said, “The right way of understanding yoga is by understanding that our youth is open to learning. If I get ten early adopters who can experience yoga and then propagate, it will really spread. Every campus must have a yoga club. Let’s target only 30 students in every institution. If the youth is convinced, we will be able to help our future generations. The teaching of Yoga to the youth is insurance for our future. In higher education campuses, this should, can and will happen with some amount of persuasion.
Putting forth his views about social justice and empowerment, he said, “In social justice, we take care of marginalized section and drug addiction is a big issue. We have introduced yoga for drug addicts in campuses, which have brought improvement in attitude and willingness to fight problems related to tackling withdrawal symptoms. We have introduced this in our mandate and we have requested IYA to train our yoga trainers better.”
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati as an invited speaker enlightened all with her views on how yoga is the answer to all our queries. “What is in store for us in future is what we have to create. This is the new normal. We saw Mother Earth healing, we saw Ganga getting clean all by itself, air is so clean and the environment is getting better. This virus is helping Mother Earth restore its order which we could not do in so many years.
“Our lifestyle is one of the reasons of COVID-19. Our economy is at loggerheads with Mother Earth. We have forgotten to differentiate between feeling well and feeling good. New normal should be where in the economy we could be well and be well and healthy. It should not be about how good we can produce in our factories rather how deeply connected we can be. Yoga is union. Yoga connects us with fullness in ourselves. Yoga helps us experience union with the Supreme in our heart. Even if we follow the four yamas— Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya and Aparigraha, we could solve everything in the world that we are facing today.
I am very impressed with IYA as it brings together all the threads of thee streams of Indian culture of Yoga,” she added.
Dr Rajvi Mehta who was also an invited speaker said, “Guruji BKS Iyengar learned yoga, experience it and was amazed with the transformation. He then took Yoga to the west in 1950s. Yoga helps people understand their religiosity better. It is far beyond any discrimination. While we are working on popularity and promotion of yoga, we need to ensure that we don’t go down to the least common denominator. As practitioners, who will be passing it to the next generation we need to see that the yoga pyramid goes upwards. If we practice yoga in its true essence we become better at what we do. Yoga takes time.
“We can start with 15 minutes or two hours a week. If students will like it they will find time for it. Yoga should be promoted for oneself,” she adhered.
Next in the list of invited speakers was Shri Kaustabh Desikachar who talked about the relevance of Yoga in the present times. He said, “Yoga is always relevant in the difficult times. Patanjali gave us Yoga when people were going through the dark era. Yoga has been part of India since very long. This is not the first crisis Yoga is witnessing. Yoga has played a very important role in these down turns. These are the times when that you need something to elevate us. Yoga being holistic addresses our mind, emotions, body and spiritual dimensions. It is most helpful in such times for many of us to engage in yoga so that can lift us up. Yoga is to help humanity.”
Speaking about the influence of Yoga on our culture, he said, “I see it in a different way. In 1900s, there were very few masters like Sivananda, Kuvalyananda, Sir TKV Desikachar, but the knowledge was enormous. Today, we have so many yoga masters, but the level of knowledge is very low.
“I with my friends at IYA want to set higher quality education standards where Indians can carry yoga to the west and all over the world. I feel that my experts from Asia will carry the message of Yoga throughout the world because of the cultural baggage in a positive sense that you can carry. Yoga cannot be measured like people would want to do in the west. Yoga is a spiritual science. I consider myself a carrier of traditional yoga and not the trendy yoga that keeps on changing. At IYA, we must ensure that high quality yoga reaches every corner of the world.”
Further talking about the Guru-shishya parampara and how can it be inculcated in our universities he said, “Patanjali in his first verse has said that there has to be a teacher student discipline. There is no other way of learning Yoga. Yoga is an anushasanam. The techniques of pranayama, asana, mudras have to be taught in a careful manner so that they are not harmful for the students.
“Guru-shishya parampara is not going to end in Corona. We have witnessed much worst crisis where there is true shishya, there is a true guru and no pandemic can take that away.”
Speaking on similar terms, Prof Madanlal Brahma Bhatt presented his view about the importance of yoga. He said, “To keep our body healthy is the most important requirement of a human’s body. Yoga can show us the way to deal with irregularities in and outside body.”
Yoga is about discipline and who would have been better than Shri Ved Prakash Sharma(IPS) to talk about it. He had been practicing yoga since very long. On asking what inspired him to serve people through yoga he said, “I had been practicing yoga since very long. I started serving the country as an IPS. I witnessed that around 80 per cent of the crime happens because of addiction. Addiction leads to crime. I applied Yoga with such criminals to change their way of thinking. Yoga changes you physically and mentally both. Yoga can help you overcome tension, stress and will make you a better person.
Concluding the session, Dr Harishankar Singh talked about the role of yoga in shaping the future. He said, “Yoga has always been a part of our life and roots. Unfortunately, we have been distancing ourselves from our roots. Youth is enchanted with the outer world. He is now stressed, is feeling hopeless.
“Yoga is the best medicine to achieve our goals with focused efforts. Yoga gives hope. With Yoga students can benefit the society and humanity. Yoga helps in ending dilemma. We have started counseling centre where students are encouraged to practice Yoga.”
The program ended with Dr Praveen Katiyar extending vote of thanks. The webinar was aired of DD Sports and Live on all social media platforms.