There’s spirit in Yoga Day celebrations










Spirit of India celebrated the International Yoga Day on June 26 at the Dundas Community Centre with enthusiastic participants casting away the early morning chill doing 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar. The Namaskar was punctuated by Srinivas chanting and commentating on relevant Gita verses and their meaning which was indeed inspiring.

The day was packed with activities, among them several lectures by prominent speakers. After lighting the traditional lamp by dignitaries – Parramatta MP Dr Geoff Lee and India’s Deputy Consul General Dr Bahade ”“ the main programme took off, managed by Master of Ceremony Dr Shivani Deo.

Dr Lee emphasised the role of community organisations such as Spirit of India that complement the government to fulfil needs of the society. He highlighted celebration of the International Yoga Day at the NSW Parliament House which, he said, was a unique experience.

Dr Bahade read Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull and Indian PM Narendra Modi’s messages on the significance of the Yoga Day.

Dr Neha Bahl, research scientist on endocrinology and metabolisms, presented “Yoga & Cancer”, explaining causes of cancers, how cell division takes place and how cells start uncontrolled growth, the basic reason of cancer. Dr Bahl said yoga could work at cellular level and probably may even prevent cancer, besides reducing stress during cancer therapy, developing positivity and efficacy of medication.

Dr Rishi, former Director of TIT and Senate Member BITS University Pilani, gave a detailed presentation on “Yoga history and future of Yoga” – when yoga started, how many intelligent rishis contributed to the development of yoga, who are the present day key personalities promoting yoga all over the world in the last century. His commentary on why yoga had spread all over world like wild fire and its contribution to the modern world was indeed enlightening.

Mr Bala, General Manager Information Technology with Hyundai Motors, in his presentation, “Yoga how & Why?” talked about his own experience of doing yoga for the last eight years and how yoga helped him in maintaining his health. He outlined the obstacles everyone faces for regular practice and how it could be overcome. His presentation was truly inspiring for those who would like to travel on yoga path as a commitment to themselves.

Following a sumptuous lunch, there were more presentations, Dr Nelson Lobo, MSc Ph.D., physicist, on Jalneti (Process of cleansing nostrils), Dr Suchitra Chandar, Senior Cardiologist, explaining yoga’s importance in heart care and Mr Bapat relating his own experience how he overcame painful arthritis and effectively managed diabetes. He explained how Pranayama could alter the way we breathe and make lungs more efficient, better oxygenated and resulting in better functioning of our various organs, thus keeping our body and mind young and agile.

The final presenter was Srinivas who gained considerable knowledge on Gita under the guidance of Swami Srikaranandji. He is specialized in teaching yoga to children, and is a yoga instructor with Chinmaya Mission. He said that the root of Yoga philosophy lied in Bhagwat Gita which makes many references to Yoga, emphasising on “Dhyana” the seventh step in Ashtang Yoga as mentioned in Patanjali Yoga sutra.

The celebration of International Yoga Day appropriately ended with a vote of thanks and singing of the peace prayer “Shanthipath”.

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