By Jeyanthi Ghatraju and Guru Prasad Samaga
In partnership with NIMHANS (National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences) and its Integrated Center for Yoga (NICY), Bengaluru, India, India Association of Greater Boston organized a special power-packed 3.5-hour session with several experts and panelists from India and the USA sharing their experiences.
In the run-up to the day, IAGB and NICY have been working together on the hugely popular free 1-hour daily session of “well-being” yoga for the last 8 weeks. People from all over eagerly joined every day and benefitted from the sessions.
The program started with a live yoga session for about 45 minutes conducted live by Dr Hemant Bhargav, who introduced a new routine for that day. It was a welcome one for those who have been attending the 2-month long session, and about 180 people enthusiastically participated.
Next, the NIMHANS team headed by Padmashri Dr. B.N. Gangadhar gave an overview of the scientific/medical research data related to mental health through a webinar. Dr Shivarama Varambally, Head of Dept, Integrative Medicine introduced Dr Nagarathna, an eminent Physician/Yoga expert who is the Director of SVYASA University. Dr Nagarathna in her presentation titled, “Yoga for mental health”, covered many aspects of her and her institute’s work and highlighted the important aspects of practicing yoga as a family. One of the many highlights is how through COVID time, we have become “Covida” meaning skilled/learned and experienced!
Following that, a moving video message by Sadguru, Founder of ISHA, specifically focused on people living in the USA was shared. In his message, Sri Sadguru urged everyone that “Yoga is a powerful tool that can help us overcome limitations within ourselves and set us on the path of becoming more joyful, vibrant, conscious and productive individuals. This International Day of Yoga, make Yoga the New Normal and experience the transformation in yourself!”
The next segment was a presentation “Yoga for stress” by the Harvard University Faculty, Prof. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa. Audience were thrilled to hear about the strides Yoga research is making in the academia, and the insightful and interesting facts.
The final segment of the day involved a panel discussion on “Yoga in Modern Life and Healthy Life Style”. The panel was comprised of well-known yoga and traditional ayurvedic medicine practitioners. Starting the panel discussion, Dr. Jyoti C Hinduja spoke on Ayurvedic medicine as a holistic medicine practice that factors in the body impact of psychology, environment, diet, and yoga. Ram Chelkhara from the Art of Living Foundation spoke on how yoga practice helps to keep a healthy lifestyle and helps in managing stress. Speaking on the panel, Jay Gupta from ‘Yoga Caps’ spoke on yoga for rejuvenation and how Yoga Caps has put together short duration yoga capsules for specific personalized needs. Continuing the discussion on yoga, Mr. Dev Lingadevaru from Bramhakumaris spoke on how Raja yoga and their program during these pandemic times ‘karuna (compassion) response for coronavirus’ is helping community members. Another panelist, Mr. Narendra Karapakula spoke on how ‘Bharatiya Yog Sansthan’ is using yoga as a means to achieve their goal of ‘may all live for the service of humanity. The panel discussion was moderated by Guru Samaga. Nagendra Rao concluded the program by thanking the guests, speaker, panelists and audiences.
During IDY 2020 celebrations, IAGB and NICY announced to continue offering free one-hour daily live yoga sessions from Monday to Saturday at 7am ET. The course is specially designed to help the feeling of well-being during this stressful time and also deal with common ailments. The community members are requested to take advantage of this great opportunity. Please visit www.iagb.org for zoom session login details. Any questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org