Science of Infinite possibilities looked into in three intensive days of Yoga conference

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By Neena Badhwar

Swami Sridharananda in his closing address of the 3-day Yoga Conference held at Western university in Parramatta organised as part of Confluence – Festival of India in Australia by the Government of India, said, “For the last three days we have feasted on infinite ideas and possibilities on the practice of yoga philosophy. Yoga is a discipline that applies to one and all with the goal which helps the egocentric self to realise through attitudinal correction to achieve immortal bliss.”

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“What you think is what you become. We are mired in ego with attitudes ‘I AM’ and ‘YOU ARE’. We can be best of friends when we agree and can be worst of enemies when we do not coalesce. I am not an academic but have been listening to all what is being done in the field of yoga – personal experiences, case studies, observations and experimentation by experts who came on this very valuable platform. Yoga teaches us to correct our attitude and change thus our perspective of life. It helps to bring clarity in understanding and helps to create new force of habit while eroding previous forces of habit. The conference helped one to identify with one’s true original nature which is divine-centric.”

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A lot of work is being done in the field of Yoga as Dr. Satbir Khalsa, Assistant Professor from Harvard University gave a wonderful presentation on his research and work on school children . “Students who took up yoga say that it calms them down. They feel relaxed and their concentration and their mind body awareness increases.”

“They gave up eating junk food and took up healthy eating habits such as fruit and vegetables.”

Dr. Khalsa said, “One teacher commented that his school had become a much better place.”

Dr. Khalsa showed all the research work that is being done in the field of Yoga in United States. “Infact we have been able to acquire grants worth millions of dollars to study the impact of yoga as part of the integrative medicine. How it helps in various ways and saves money for the government on health that it spends.”

“Some children said that it has helped them keep out of trouble, while others  were helped as they could control their drug use.”

“So much so that students who followed yoga became its strong supporters and convinced others who found it weird.”

Although the Medicare there funds yoga related claims but Dr. Khalsa said that, “We had to show that we were able to get better results for example in cardiovascular diseases.”

Dr. Khalsa did say that the system was not yet open to yoga as part of the intergrated approach to medicine and that there was very little being done.

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Dr. R Nagaratna, Dean of S-Vyasa, University of Yoga Sciences, Bengaluru, India gave her talk on ‘Yoga and Schizophrenia.

Can yoga help Schizophrenia?

Dr. Nagaratna said, “No, but Yoga is useful as an add-on in antipsychotic-stablised patients with drugs.

Dr. Nagaratna said that the chemical imbalances can occur in the foetus, “If the mother is stressed then the baby will develop schizophrenia when it grows to the age of 12.”

“The software of genes can be changed by nurture.”

“Usually the schizophrenic episodes are triggered by some major change in a child’s life – peer pressure, stress of studies, change of school or disturbance at home or even moving to a new area and new school.”

“Emotions at an uncontrolled speed create a mind which has gone haywire. The grandeur of Yoga is that it helps open up the pranic blocks and helps to balance prana.”

“The chanchala mind with ekgrata and dhyana helps to settle which is done through a lot of Japa and chanting of mantras.”

Dr. Nagaratna said that now in India, due to the current government under Prime Minister Modi, was helping do a lot of research work in various hospitals including the All India Medical Institute.

It was just a half day session that I attended but it was quite enlightening to hear all the work done on Yoga by experts and academics internationally.

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Swami Sunnishthanand while giving his vote of thanks said, “A foetus goes through millions of evolutionary processes in just nine months being in the womb. This yoga conference has achieved exactly that by giving us insights into all what is being done in these valuable informative sessions in just three days.”

Swamiji thanked all the volunteers, Parramatta Council, Western university and Government of India’s ICCR, Beyond Blue and other sponsors as well as the invited speakers for helping conduct this unique and a successful conference.

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