Yoga should be mandatory in school

Photo: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times.

Photo: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times.

This will probably irritate you, I’m quivering as I write it. I can picture myself on stage, making eye contact with stern, unblinking you, knowing I’m on the less popular side of the “yoga should be compulsory in schools” debate because, of course, you believe in the freedom to choose.

But our educational institutions have never been known for offering choices right from the limited third language options to the Shakespeare play in the syllabus. You can’t tell the teacher that you would rather learn Hamlet over Twelfth Night and most of us grew up thinking rote learning was education.

As ideas go, insisting that children learn yoga in schools works perfectly alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s other initiative to encourage girls to play sport, which he says builds, err, SPORTS (skill, perseverance, optimism, resilience, tenacity, stamina). Aside: The title of this column is a favourite essay topic for aspiring management students these days, along with “mankind should end war before war ends mankind” and “leaders are born, not made”.

How the government will find yoga teachers when we are already short of one million primary and secondary school teachers is a question beyond the scope of this column. It’s like asking me how the state will teach Indian men to give up the great outdoors for the subsidized toilet installed in their homes as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

It took me a lifetime of attempts and many injuries to find a teacher who could help me fall in love with yoga. Now I believe everyone should do yoga, especially geeks and couch potatoes. You don’t have to worry about taller, stronger, fitter people being better than you—yoga is the ultimate equalizer.

I’m happy the All India Council for Technical Education has said yoga will now be one of five compulsory extracurricular activity options for students from engineering and technical colleges if they want their degree. Until recently, extracurricular activity was optional. Oh stop moaning! You only require 25% attendance.

If I’m evangelizing it’s because yoga got rid of my beer belly (almost), strengthened my core and back muscles, improved my immunity and upped my lung power significantly. When I went on a high-altitude trip last year, I didn’t have to pop a headache pill or carry a barf bag like some of my younger travel companions. One recent British study quoted in the Time magazine found that mind-body activities such as yoga can “reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to poor health and depression”. That almost sounded like Baba Ramdev, who has an ambitious plan to popularize yoga across the world.

It’s now easy for me to identify people who Suryanamaskar their way to health and I am confident that many of the ministers who strike poses for the camera are not regular yoga practitioners. From the government’s perspective, compulsory yoga is an idea that has more chance of making it to prime time television than boring education reforms such as training teachers or encouraging more innovative methods of teaching.

Let’s do it, I say. As long as yoga lessons don’t go hand-in-hand with lectures about India’s bovine bounty or fraudulent medical knowledge that convinces you from an early age that yoga can fix everything from your mother’s overactive thyroid to your father’s arrhythmia, I’ll be a cheerleader for the cause.

If we work together, it’s possible to reclaim yoga from its khaki shorts practitioners. As Nata Menabde, the World Health Organization’s executive director at the UN, said recently: “Yoga is for people of all religions, races and nationalities because yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a lifestyle.”

Now that I’ve taken politics and Patanjali off the mat, you’ll surely agree that our children need yoga for their physical and mental well-being? At 14.4 million and growing, India now has the highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to a paper published in The New England Journal Of Medicine. Our schools no longer have playgrounds; and our neighbourhood parks specialize in saying no (no playing ball, no cycling, no stepping on the grass). Most Bengaluru parks shut their gates from 10am-4pm—even on weekends. How often have you seen children trying to dodge traffic while learning to cycle on busy roads?

In these circumstances, learning an activity that works every muscle in your body and activates endorphins while utilizing only a modest square of floor space is nothing short of miraculous.

Countries across the world have discovered the benefits of yoga for children. Let’s not be the last to sign up.

Yoga can help children navigate New India where exam stress routinely leads to suicide and school bags exist only to weigh you down. Last year a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) found that 68% of schoolchildren under the age of 13 suffer from mild back pain, which could later develop into chronic pain.

“Early slip disc, spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, persistent back aches, early degeneration of spine and postural scoliosis are some of the problems that these children face,” B.K. Rao, the chairman of Assocham’s health committee, told The Indian Express in September.

And if your attention-deficit child finds your yoga session “boring” because your routine doesn’t come with an accompanying playlist or fast-moving images on a screen, I’m sure you’ll think of something. I’ve almost convinced Babyjaan that yoga is the fastest route to becoming a star gymnast.



Yoga in the office? Firms should help us stay well, says public health chief

A standing desk is one of the ways firms can boost employees’ health.

Lunchtime yoga classes, providing help to remove ingrowing toenails and holding meetings while walking around the office – these are just some of the strategies that employers should use to boost staff fitness, according to the NHS public health chief.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, is also backing workplace running clubs, standing desks to improve posture and staff uniting to try to quit smoking as useful ways businesses can improve employee wellbeing.

In an interview with the Observer, Selbie made clear that Britain’s 5.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could do much more to tackle the £29bn annual bill for sickness absence while improving productivity and increasing profits at the same time.

“SMEs are the backbone of the nation’s workforce and can kickstart a revolution in helping their staff to improve their health. People spend 30, 40 or sometimes 50 hours a week at work. That’s a unique opportunity for employers to use that big chunk of someone’s week to care for their health,” said Selbie. His plea is aimed at the 5.5 million firms which make up 99% of all private sector businesses and employ 60% of those who work in the private sector.

“Forward-thinking companies are already offering help such as podiatry services to employees who are on their feet all day or group posture exercises for people who stand in the same position for a long time because of their job.

“Employers could adopt group exercise challenges, such as ‘Couch to 5k’ or lunchtime run clubs, and promote active travel like cycling to work. Being regularly active is one of the best ways to prevent and manage poor musculoskeletal health and combat stress, which are both major causes of sickness absence,” he added.

Employers should take a “bottom-up” approach to improving staff health and wellbeing by putting in place ideas that employees want, rather than things that would be “nice to have”, he said.

“We want to see every business take a custom-made approach to employee health by looking at what staff need. We encourage employers to create dynamic environments, workplaces where people can be more active, move more and change positions, with things like standing desks.”

Firms could encourage staff to hold “walking meetings” in the local park rather than sitting down in an office and always eat lunch somewhere other than their desk, Selbie said. Ergonomic assessments of posture could help identify stiffness and pain that may indicate that back problems are emerging which can then be tackled early.

He wants action to encourage more staff to cycle to work. HR Magazine recently found that 33% of employers believe that cyclists are more productive at work than non-cycling colleagues. In addition, 44% of bosses polled said cyclists were more productive

Firms could also use camaraderie between staff to help smokers quit. Selbie suggested using group workplace challenges, such as smokers all signing up to take part in Stoptober together, and that employers could alert workers when mobile bus clinics were due to be in the area.

The PHE boss wants businesses to help staff with their mental health too. “The main way to reduce stress levels is through training line managers in mental health and educating workforces to increase their mental health literacy, and to recognise the signs which indicate that they need support,” he said.

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said that small firms did not have the advantage of large corporations in being able to use their employees to get discount deals for gym memberships or private health providers, for example.

“The average small employer has around seven employees and their approach is often more akin to a family unit than it is a large business. So while many small businesses are not sedentary or desk-based in their work, we know that many are encouraging fitness breaks for running or gym classes, while others have indeed innovated through things such as walking meetings.

“The key is not to instruct or compel them, but for the small business owner and their team to come up with ideas that work for them.”

Selbie added: “Everyone benefits from a healthier workforce: employees, who will enjoy better health and be less likely to be off sick; employers, who will reap the benefits of increased productivity; and the NHS, which will have less poor health to deal with.”

and 89% thought that those who used two wheels had more energy during the day. Research by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has found that physically active staff take 27% fewer sick days.


Yoga: A Plus Size Woman’s Answer to Body Shaming, Trolls

Image result for Yoga: A Plus Size Woman's Answer to Body Shaming, TrollsMumbai: A plus-sized Indian woman is challenging body stereotypes and defying internet trolls with a series of yoga videos that are proving a hit on social media.

Thirty-four-year-old Dolly Singh has gained something of a fan following online for promoting body positivity by showing that size is no barrier to mastering complex yoga moves.

To say ‘You can’t do this because you have so much weight,’ I don’t believe that,” Singh tells AFP after completing her morning stretch in a Mumbai park.

Four years ago a doctor advised her to lose weight following an ankle sprain. Singh, who is 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm), weighed almost 90 kilograms (198 pounds) at the time.

She got a trainer and embraced the “whole frenzy of losing weight” but grew bored of running so she signed up for something she’d never done before — yoga.

“The first class I was thinking ‘Can I really do this because I have a big body?’ After two or three class I realised people were looking at me and thinking ‘Oh my god she can do this’. My body had a certain kind of stamina, of flexibility.”

Singh, who works for a TV channel in India’s financial capital, soon realised there were limitations to group classes and sought the instruction she needed from videos online.

“We all have different bodies and if my teacher doesn’t have a belly, how will they know what the problems are of having a big belly,” she explains, laughing.

“I’m a big busted person and if the teacher isn’t how are they going to understand that when I’m doing a Halasana (plough pose) I’m almost choking to death!”

Singh started filming herself to monitor her progress and then began posting clips of her yoga poses on Instagram.


‘Online trolls’

Soon she was inundated with messages, mainly from foreigners at first but then from Indian women saying that Singh was an inspiration to them.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by some people saying they would feel alienated in a room full of perfect yoga bodies, how they would feel that everyone is watching them.

“There’s an idea of not showing your body if you’re big bodied. You’re supposed to hide everything because its not appealing or it’s not something people like to see but that’s just something that’s been sold to us,” she insists.

The response hasn’t all been positive however. Singh says she has been the victim of body shaming online.

“Indian men have not been encouraging at all. There are a lot of people who write very nasty comments. They would say something like ‘You’re just a fat blob, you look just like an elephant or bear, or you’re unfit or it’s because you’re eating so much food.

“I completely ignore these things. You can’t fight internet trolls. I don’t know these people so why should it bother me?”

Singh, who currently weighs 73 kg, says she will continue trying to sell “a more positive body image” and “challenge notions of fitness and beauty”.

“I’m not aiming to have this thin figure but I am aiming to have a beautiful flow and make my body strong through yoga,” she says, smiling.


Yoga, beer mix at Happy Hour

Yoga, beer mix at Happy Hour

TRAVERSE CITY — Forget about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

A group of enthusiasts have found a different mix of their favorite things at Happy Hour Yoga, held every other Friday under the water tower outside Earthen Ales in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

For $10, participants receive an hour of yoga instruction from Kelsea Erickson, followed by a pint of craft beer at Earthen Ales.

Erickson is an Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher with 500 hours of certified training through the Yoga Alliance in Hatha yoga.

She teaches weekly at the Sleeping Bear Bay Club in Glen Arbor, does private instruction and trained in Rishikesh, India for a total of 12 weeks.

“It’s combining two of my favorite things that are on the totally opposite spectrum,” Erickson said. “I love beer, I love yoga and I love socializing so combining the two and having fun with it is a good thing. In the studio you teach your class and then everybody leaves right after, you don’t get that chance to talk with people.

“Having everybody come in, we do a class, we go have a beer afterwards and we can chit-chat and talk about whatever. It brings a lot more community feel to it.”

Sisters Victoria and Christina Dixon agreed that yoga and beer work well together.

Victoria Dixon has attended both Happy Hour Yoga sessions. The Traverse City woman found out about the June 23 debut class on Facebook.

“Beer and wine are very relaxing and my job is very stressful,” said Victoria Dixon, an operating room nurse at Munson Medical Center. “I like yoga and come to Earthen Ales often.”

“I love both beer and yoga,” added Christina Dixon, who was in town visiting her sister from Las Vegas. “They’re the top two on my favorites list.”

Nan Lewis of Interlochen did a beer and yoga event previously on Old Mission Peninsula held through the Jolly Pumpkin. She was at Happy Hour Yoga with her truck driver husband, Larry, who had the week off.

“It’s just something new to try and I have the opportunity to do it with my husband, something I didn’t have the opportunity to do before,” she said.

Andrew Kidwell-Bix, who co-owns Earthen Ales with his wife, Jamie, said Erickson had the idea for Happy Hour Yoga. It didn’t take much to sell them on the concept.

“She was just in, having a beer, talking about yoga and ways to unwind at the end of the week,” Andrew Kidwell-Bix said. “To me, there’s no better way to end the week with yoga and then sitting down and having a beer.”

The first Earthen Ales Happy Hour Yoga drew seven participants. The next drew four, faced with competition from the National Cherry Festival. Sessions will continue every other Friday outside Earthen Ales, with the next one scheduled from 5-6 p.m. on July 19. No advance registration is required.

“If we can get more people out more often, I’m always happy to use the sunshine in the summertime,” Erickson said. “There’s only so much time you can spend in Michigan doing outdoor yoga stuff. We want to get as much as we can in here.”

Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat or towel and “your thirsty self.” New Happy Hour Yoga participants have to sign a waiver, pay Erickson the fee and receive a “Na’ Ma Stay and Drink a Beer” voucher for a pint of their choice.

There are some in the fitness community that believe that beer after a strenuous workout is a good way to recover quickly.

“Beer definitely has a lot of good nutrients for you,” Erickson said. “I got done having a kid seven months ago and they said one of the best things for me to do for my milk production was to drink beer, which was very odd to me. So I looked into that a little bit. The yeast is really good for you and honestly, I feel better if I’ve earned drinking my beer.”

“If I feel like I did something first, I don’t feel quite so bad about drinking a beer later on.”


Yoga teacher arrested for molesting woman in Mumbai

Image result for Yoga teacher arrested for molesting woman in MumbaiThe victim’s husband, who also attended Raut’s yoga sessions, said, “He has been running yoga classes for the last six years and exploiting women students. Following our complaint, another three-four women have come forward with similar complaints against the yoga teacher.” Further investigation into the case is on, police said. (Representational Image)

A 57-year-old yoga teacher has been arrested for allegedly molesting a woman during his classes in Sewri here, police said today. The accused, Shivram Raut, who has been conducting yoga classes for the last few years, was arrested from his residence in Wadala last night, a senior officer said.

“The accused conducts yoga classes every Sunday at a school in Sewri. During the sessions, he asked the woman to keep sexual relations with him to attain ‘moksha’ (liberation) and also indulged in indecent behaviour with her,” the officer said.

The woman and her husband approached R A K Marg police station in Sewri and filed a complaint against Raut last week. Based on the complaint, police conducted a probe and arrested the accused from his house.

“The accused has been booked under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of woman),” the official said adding that he will be produced in the Metropolitan Magistrate Court today.

The victim’s husband, who also attended Raut’s yoga sessions, said, “He has been running yoga classes for the last six years and exploiting women students. Following our complaint, another three-four women have come forward with similar complaints against the yoga teacher.” Further investigation into the case is on, police said.


Yoga And Its Therapeutic Benefits For Kids

Image result for Yoga And Its Therapeutic Benefits For KidsRepresentative Image (Image: PTI)
Yoga unfolds many benefits for adults as well for kids. With today’s lifestyle and pedagogy, it’s important to take special care for a healthy body and a peaceful mind at their young age. If our children become aware about the benefits of yoga and adopt it from an early age, they can live much healthy and strong life, indeed.
Kids can significantly benefit from yoga in many ways, and in some ways even more than it foster adults. To list a few, following are the benefits of yoga for kids:
1.Concentration: By learning some breathing exercises kids can bring tremendous change in their concentration level and hence, they can focus better on their short term as well as long term goals.

2.Improves flexibility and strengthens the body: Yoga further enhances the innate flexibility of kids. It also helps in strengthening the body which results in fewer injuries, especially when kids are involved in sports activities.

3.Keep Calm: We might not be aware but our kids sometime deal with lot of frustration and agitation. So why wait for them to land up in such unwanted situation and then try to pull them out of it. Instead, we should encourage them to do yoga so that they can learn how to keep calm beforehand to know how to react appropriately in any situation.

4.Mindful exercise: Children learn to guide their bodies through different poses, henceforth they learn more about their minds and how they can it affect their attitude and approach towards their life.

5.Positivity: Positivity is something we all yearn for, still with minimal efforts we try to bring it in our lives. Yoga helps children to love themselves and others, as they are and also to keep their calm. Thus, a body full of positivity emerges out of the young ones.

6.Discipline and Responsibility: Learning yoga makes kids more disciplined and responsible in their life. Therefore, we can expect better academic results and focused career from them.

These are just some of the benefits of yoga for children. Just encourage your child to practice yoga regularly, may be practice together while watching certain Yoga poses from the internet and see what change it can bring in your child’s life; a change that you and your child would always cherish!


Yoga can cause musculoskeletal pain

woman doing the downward dog pose

While yoga can help to alleviate pain, research shows that it can also cause it.
Yoga is often hailed as an effective practice for pain relief. A new study, however, notes that yoga can also cause pain, and yoga-related injuries are much more common than one may think.

The research suggests that every year, more than 10 percent of people who practice yogain a recreational capacity experience musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the upper limbs, as a result.

What is more, the study found that yoga actually worsens more than a fifth of existing injuries.

Lead study author Prof. Evangelos Pappas, of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

Yoga is one of the most common mind and body practices in the United States, and its popularity is increasing. According to a survey conducted by Yoga Alliance last year, around 37 million U.S. adults practice yoga, a significant rise from 20 million in 2012.

But why is yoga so appealing? Aside from its stress-relieving effects, one reason why people are attracted to yoga is its ability to ease pain. A recent study reported by Medical News Today found that for low back pain, yoga is just as beneficial as physical therapy.

However, the new study from Prof. Pappas and team suggests that caution should be applied when practicing yoga, as it could do more harm than good.

Upper limb pain most common

For their study, the researchers analyzed the data of 354 adults who engaged in recreational yoga.

Participants completed two electronic questionnaires 1 year apart, which gathered information on any musculoskeletal pain they might have, where in the body this pain occurred, and pain severity.

The data revealed that 10.7 percent of participants experienced musculoskeletal pain as a result of yoga.

“In terms of severity, more than one third of cases of pain caused by yoga were serious enough to prevent yoga participation and lasted more than 3 months,” notes Prof. Pappas.

Pain in the upper extremities – including the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand – was the most common type of pain caused by yoga, which Prof. Pappas speculates may be down to “postures that put weight on the upper limbs,” such as the downward dog.

For subjects with pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries, around 21 percent of these injuries were exacerbated by yoga participation, the team reports. Pre-existing upper limb pain was most affected by yoga.

Injury rate higher than previous reports

However, the study also brought some positive news; around 74 percent of participants reported that their pre-existing musculoskeletal pain had improved as a result of yoga.

Still, the researchers believe that their findings highlight the need for caution when it comes to practicing yoga, especially for people who already have musculoskeletal pain.

“Our study found that the incidence of pain caused by yoga is more than 10 percent per year,” says Prof. Pappas, “which is comparable to the injury rate of all sports injuries combined among the physically active population.”

However people consider it to be a very safe activity. This injury rate is up to 10 times higher than has previously been reported.”

Prof. Evangelos Pappas

The researchers say that their findings may help both healthcare professionals and patients to compare the risks of yoga with other types of physical activity, allowing them to make informed decisions about which form of exercise is best.

“We recommend that yoga teachers also discuss with their students the risks for injury if not practiced conscientiously, and the potential for yoga to exacerbate some injuries,” adds Prof. Pappas.

“Yoga participants are encouraged to discuss the risks of injury and any pre-existing pain, especially in the upper limbs, with yoga teachers and physiotherapists to explore posture modifications that may result in safer practice.”


Government to create 10,000 vacancies for certified yoga teachers

The number of yoga trainers in the country has increased 30% in the past two years, according to estimates by the AYUSH ministry. Photo: HT

The number of yoga trainers in the country has increased 30% in the past two years, according to estimates by the AYUSH ministry. Photo: HT

New Delhi: The government plans to create 10,000 vacancies of certified yoga trainers as more people take to the traditional practice, an official in the central government’s AYUSH ministry said.

The number of yoga trainers in the country has increased 30% in the past two years, according to ministry estimates.

Yoga has gradually become popular among Indians. More and more private companies are hiring yoga instructors in their offices realizing its holistic benefits– Ishwara N. Acharya, joint adviser (yoga), AYUSH ministry

“Yoga has gradually become popular among Indians. More and more private companies are hiring yoga instructors in their offices realizing its holistic benefits. The government is also planning to create around 10,000 vacancies for yoga trainers in coming years,” said Ishwara N. Acharya, joint adviser (yoga) in the AYUSH ministry said.

“Recently, Haryana government has announced 1,000 vacancies in the state. We have written to all other states to identify the institutions where there is a need of certified yoga trainers. Before 2015, there was no certification for yoga trainers but we now provide them accreditation through Quality Council of India (QCI) to ensure quality of the traditional practice,” said Acharya.

QCI has designed a scheme for voluntary certification of yoga professionals by adopting principles and requirements laid down in international standards. QCI also enables the government to hire certified yoga trainers in its institutions.

“More and more people are willing to take up the traditional practice as a profession. We have recently facilitated the hiring of yoga trainers in the Haryana government. We are also certifying yoga schools in the country. We have over 30 applications from yoga schools for certification on the parameters of infrastructure and quality. Government yoga schools are also improving gradually,” said Manish Pande, joint director, QCI.

AYUSH ministry’s wing Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN) is actively engaged in research activities regarding yoga and its efficacy on various diseases. An AYUSH ministry yoga protocol document claims that a small sampling of research shows that yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculo-skeletal functioning and cardio-vascular health. It claims yoga is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many lifestyle-related disorders. Also, yoga helps reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and stress and it also regulates menopausal symptoms.

“Popularity of yoga can be seen with an overwhelming response on International Yoga Day on Wednesday. Over 51,000 people took part in yoga celebrations in Lucknow. There are many youth who want to adopt the practice as profession but they don’t have jobs. Youth will be attracted towards the profession if they see job opportunities in the area,” Acharya said.

Recently, Shripad Naik, minister of state in the AYUSH ministry, claimed that CCRYN is conducting a mega multi-centric research study on efficacy of yoga on diabetes in which around 250,000 people have been screened and the preliminary results of this research study are very encouraging. The minister also said treatments in modern medical hospitals are becoming expensive; so, yoga is making new inroads.


‘Yoga Ganga’ of Chandigarh Police Police: Poster boys spread message of health and yoga

The Chandigarh Police has witnessed deaths of several police personnel due to heart attack, sugar and diabetes. Some policemen have suffered brain stroke and paralysis attack in the recent past.

At a time when Chandigarh Police personnel have been repeatedly found suffering from different diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, uric acid, cholesterol and weak eyesight during different health checkup camps, the police department has decided to explain them the virtues of yoga. In this regard, the police have released a poster called ‘Yoga Ganga’ featuring its three senior officers who are shown performing different yoga asanas.

These senior police officers are DIG Alok Kumar, SSP Eish Singhal and DSP Ram Gopal. “Eight other police personnel, including five women constables, are also featured in the poster doing different asanas. But we decided to display the pictures of senior police officers on top of the poster to motivate police personnel and to show seriousness of the police department towards health fitness,” a senior police officer said.

The poster was released on International Yoga Day but it was distributed and displayed at different police stations and Chandigarh Police headquarters in Sector 9 on Friday. While DIG Alok Kumar is shown performing Vajraasan and SSP Eish Singhal Utanmandukasan, DSP Ram Gopal is shown doing Padmasana (lotus position).

Significantly, DSP Ram Gopal has been an international level yoga practitioner and DIG Alok Kumar has been practising yoga for the last one decade. Sources said, “Once there was a plan to put DGP Tajender Singh Luthra on the poster while performing asanas but the idea did not materialise. The posters were distributed to all the police stations, police posts and different cells including crime branch and operations cell.”

In March 2017, a health checkup camp for police personnel especially deployed at police stations, crime branch, operations cell was held and 55 police personnel out of 90 were found suffering from different ailments, including hypertension, high BP, cholesterol and diabetes. A total of 80 cops were found affected from calcium deficiency, 40 were found diabetic, and 60 were found suffering from hypertension out of a total 200 cops in May 2016.
DIG Alok Kumar said, “The poster was released on International Yoga Day. Our aim is to make police personnel health-conscious.”

The Chandigarh Police has witnessed deaths of several police personnel due to heart attack, sugar and diabetes. Some policemen have suffered brain stroke and paralysis attack in the recent past.


Move that body when you’re stressed out

Yoga is the key to keep stress away (Thinkstock)Yoga is the key to keep stress away (Thinkstock)
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives today. No matter where you are or what you do, modern lifestyles mean that stress is never too far away. And as lives become more fast-paced and hectic, working out tends to take a backseat. Many people assume that the last thing they should be doing when they are stressed out is exercising. But what they don’t realise is the fact that moving your body at this time will actually make you feel better.

The importance of working out when you’re stressed
Agrees certified yoga expert from the Government of India (Ministry of AYUSH and Quality Council of India) Ankita Sood, “Stress instantly disturbs our mind and body. It immediately increases the heart rate, blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels, muscles become tense, breathing is fast and you may start sweating. This sends erratic impulses to the brain centre — Hypothalamus and the mother gland — Pituitary, which then creates disturbed responses. All these factors indicate that one has disturbed the normal functioning of the body and activated stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Balance is what the body and mind should aim for at all times. Yoga is a holistic approach and helps maintain in this harmony. Yoga is the key to keep stress away as the combination of various techniques — asanas, pranayamas, shuddhikriyas, meditation and relaxation help balance the sympathetic and para sympathetic nervous system. The body protectors and regulators i.e. the ductless endocrine glands are activated. The three humors in the body — vata (wind), pitta (bile) and kapha (mucus) are balanced. Thus, yoga helps in relieving frustration and releasing emotional tension by relaxing the body and mind.”
Adds masala bhangra expert, Riddhi Gupta, “Working out releases certain hormones that help battle your stress hormones. It’s absolutely miraculous how pre workout you could be anxious, stressed or depressed and post workout, that feeling is oblivious. Dance and fitness release endorphins, which are often called the happy hormones. These also ease tension in the muscles, which is great because you tend to ease the body out completely and, at the same time, strengthen and tone it. Stress can be detrimental especially in extreme cases. Movement and rhythm have always shaped the mind positively and therefore, it will have only most rewarding benefits. The body releases happy hormones that make you feel content.”

How yoga helps

“Yoga is not just a physical practice but a holistic way of life. A combination of the following with consistency is very important — shuddikriyas (cleansing techniques), asanas (postures), pranayamas (expansion of bioenergy), mudras (energy-circuit), bandhas (Energy lock), eating the right food at the right time (Ahara), relaxation (vihara), healthy routine (achara), positive thinking (vichara) and meditation. These practices should ideally be done under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher, keeping in mind you health problems, if any.”
The following techniques have many benefits but I am mentioning the important benefits related to stress release.