Yoga is key to healthy body and mind

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By Vijay Badhwar

Baba Ramdev, the modern day avatar to turn yoga into a household name in India, initiated his maiden Australia Tour on Good Friday at the Whitlam Centre in Liverpool to bring thousands of his followers Down Under in the fold who have been clamouring for his visit for several decades.

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It was early in the morning, still dark when many of his devotees started from home, gloomy also as the rain poured non-stop, but there was excitement inside the large hall where yoga mats were neatly laid out in rows facing the Guru in ochre robes, a soft flute accompanied by tabla playing in the background.

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Following a brief chanting of mantras, off came the chadar from the shoulders as Swami Ramdev tucked his dhoti in preparedness, soon contorting into complex postures, all the time prodding and testing his followers: “Frozen food kha kar, khud bhi freeze ho gae” (having consumed frozen foods, the body, too, has frozen.

The Sydney camp was of four-day duration and it comprised followers of all ages, seniors as well housewives, children and teenagers, fit and also not so fit. Baba Ramdev cynically extolled the virtues of modern times ”“ obesity, stress and diabetes ”“ which, he said, could all be rid off by regularly practising yoga. Four things, he emphasised, were important for good results: method, timing, continuity and concentration.

Swami Ramdev glanced through the whole range of yogic repertoire, including the traditional Indian body building through push-ups and sit-ups, Suksham yoga as well as vigorous postures, Shav Asana and breathing exercises, laying special emphasis on nadi shodhan and kapalbhati breathing. In the two-hour-long session he could not elaborate specifics of postures, assuming that many among the followers were already initiated into the practice of regular yoga, but several volunteers were at hand guiding the newcomers into correct techniques.

It was all due to perseverance of young Chirag Parekh that the camps Down Under came to fruition, Swamiji said, although he had been pursued for more than a decade to visit Australia. He urged his followers to follow the healthy lifestyle and observe 21 June every year as the International Yoga Day.



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