From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country’s youth, yoga maestro H R NAGENDRA tells Manzoor-ul-Hassan how this ancient science can change a nation’s health indices if followed regularly.
He is known as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s yoga therapist and the reason for his unbound energy. He heads several Central government committees on yoga education and development. This is 76-year-old Dr HR Nagendra, a former NASA scientist who is the Chancellor of the prestigious Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S- VYASA), Bengaluru (S-VYASA).
HOW HE MET MODI
Narendra Modi visited Prashanti Kutiram, Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (VYASA), Bengaluru, in 1987 and was immediately drawn to VYASA’s philosophy,which is based on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda— the four streams of
Yoga with unity in their diversity, the key essence of Indian culture, and applications of Yoga to bring health, harmony, peace the world over. He is also a follower of Swami Vivekananda. That’s where the Prime Minister adopted yoga as his routine.
Modi keeps to a routine and practises Sukshma Vyayama (Simple Yoga for Relaxation), asanas and pranayama. These help him work in blissful awareness. Modi is known to have customised his own regime for destressing.
THE ONLY SAVIOUR
Yoga helps in prevention and promotion of positive health. It has the power even to treat some fatal diseases. At Prashanti Kutiram, we use cyclic meditation to ease occupational stress and treat diseases like asthma, cancer and psychiatric illnesses. We have been successful in helping people cut their medications or stop them entirely. Modern medical systems deal with the body because the cause is in the mind.
At Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA), we combine the best of the West with that of the East to offer solutions to people. This has been our approach since 1975. We are bringing evidence-base to Yoga Therapy from IT to YT (Yoga Therapy). Yoga takes us to the fullest extent of self-realisation. It is a science that is being practised from ages. It was the way of life for our ancestors because Yoga offered them the contentment and satisfaction that is missing from our lives. They were healthier.
The Ministry through the Department of AYUSH has taken some initiatives to streamline, promote and propagate yoga.
The Ministry of Human Resources, based on recommendations by an expert committee, introduced Yoga as part of the school and college curriculum and also as part of the teacher’s education programme. The process of introducing yoga in military and paramilitary services was also initiated. In the coming years, yoga will be part of education at all
levels. Efforts are being made to include Yoga in higher education too. We were successful in introducing Yoga in nearly 67 universities in their colleges.
YOGA AS SCIENCE
Yoga has nothing to do with religion and we will be able to change this perception only by bringing Yoga into our education system. We have to catch our kids young to be able to inform them about the benefits of science it is. Further, we will have to aggressively promote Yoga as a global discipline. We will be holding the World Assembly on Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy (WAAYN) at Greater Noida in November. WAAYN aims at unearthing the treasure of ancient knowledge and combine it with modern- day advancements.
POPULARITY AMONG YOUTH
Yoga has a lot to offer. It is not merely A physical discipline. It is a holistic science that strikes a balance between your body, mind and soul. Contrary to general perception and belief, even yoga can offer immediate results. The perception is changing and the youth today is accepting and adopting yoga in their lives.