Thousands take to virtual yoga


Mr Aman Kamboj spends long hours before the computer as he is a software professional working for a Singapore company.

His body is often stiff as he gets little time to go out for a run or exercise in the gym.

So, when he heard that a series of virtual yoga events was going to be held in Singapore from June 20 to 28 to celebrate International Day of Yoga (June 21), he jumped at the chance to attend some of the sessions and try to relieve stress and condition his body.

"I'm not flexible and sometimes I feel pain in my body," said the 35-year-old. "I have become a bit lethargic too. But I got up early on Saturday (June 20) to attend a virtual yoga session conducted by Yogi Sukhdev Singh.

"I wanted to do something that would keep my mind calm and focused and body healthy during the Covid-19 stay-at-home period."

Within an hour, Mr Kamboj learnt about correct sitting posture, proper breathing method and basic yoga positions from Yogi Sukhdev.

"I felt greatly relieved and light at the end of it," he said. "I felt the postures were not stressful and could be easily done at home. I made it a point to attend Yogi Sukhdev's next virtual yoga lesson the following Sunday and will now continue to practise yoga regularly."

Mr Kamboj's wife Garima, 30, and daughter Arya, five, also took part in the two sessions. "They are much more flexible and could do the yoga postures easily," said Mr Kamboj.

"My daughter is also learning gymnastics. So, yoga helps her become more flexible."

Mrs Garima is usually unable to exercise because she has to do household chores and look after the couple's 10-month-old son. "I have known about yoga since my childhood," she said. "It has helped improve my blood circulation and reduced body pain. Thanks to it, I also had a smooth delivery during my second pregnancy.

"I feel every mother should do yoga. I find it very beneficial. It brings the whole family together. We do meditation and there is spiritual bonding and positive energy at home."

Yogi Sukhdev held virtual yoga sessions, lasting about an hour, on all days from June 20 to 28. These were attended by more than 2,000 people in Singapore and India.

"More people in Singapore are taking up yoga," he said. "I taught them simple techniques, proper posture and breathing and how to activate the basic muscles. All loved it.

"Among several benefits, yoga helps improve the immune system. It can help you fight any disease. And, during the coronavirus lockdown, you only need a mat to practise yoga."

The week-long IDY celebrations in Singapore were led by the High Commission of India (HCI), which organised 97 virtual yoga sessions and five webinars in collaboration with 40 different organisations, including ActiveSG and Narpani Peravai.

More than 9,000 people participated in these sessions, which were conducted by teachers, trainers and experts from various universities, yoga and wellness centres in India and Singapore, including Isha Yoga and Sky Meditation Centre.

"We had 48 sessions for the public and 16 for families and corporates," said Mr Giridhar Nayak, a volunteer at Isha Yoga. "These sessions were held during different times in a day and nearly 4,000 people participated.

Isha Yoga had sessions on different themes, such as Yoga for Mental Health, Yoga for Peace and Yoga for Joy, in addition to Upa Yoga, a simple set of 10 practices which activate the joints, muscles and energy system.

"The important thing was to address respiratory health," said Mr Nayak. "We had Simha Kriya, a simple but powerful yogic process to boost immunity and enhance lung capacity. Since our sessions could be done from home, the participants this year were two-and-a-half times more than those who registered last year."

Sky organised two virtual yoga sessions on June 21 and 27 which were attended by 273 participants.

"We offered simplified physical exercises which could be practised by all family members," said Mr G. Chenthil Kumar, master in-charge at Sky.

The HCI, with Pragya Yoga and Wellness and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga in New Delhi, also organised three webinars on yoga.

On June 21, five international experts presented five different lineages of yoga during the "Five Experts, One Goal: Holistic Wellness" webinar.

Immunity boosting recipes and useful daily routines drawn from Ayurveda and yoga were also presented by Ms Sujata Cowlagi, director of Pragya Yoga and Wellness, who curated the event.

The webinar "Yoga: The Breath of Life - Road To Healing And Recovery In The Time Of Covid-19 on June 22 saw experts talk about how yoga is effective in providing balance and promoting harmony during the current pandemic scenario.

The webinar on June 26 focused on "Yoga In The Time Of Pandemic - How to Keep Depression And Anxiety At Bay". All the webinars were simultaneously live-streamed on Facebook which allowed more than 2,000 people to participate.

The HCI along with Art of Health in Singapore also organised a webinar titled Preventive Healthcare & Building of Immunity Through Ayurveda on June 21. Five experts on Ayurveda spoke at the session, which was attended by more than 300 people in 13 countries, including Singapore.

One June 28, a webinar on ""Siddha Traditions In Preventive Medicine" was also held.

"I feel every mother should do yoga. I find it very beneficial. It brings the whole family together. We do meditation and there is spiritual bonding and positive energy at home."

- Mrs Garima Kamboj


அதற்குள்ளாகவா? இந்தச் செய்திகளையும் படிக்கலாமே!

இந்தச் செய்திகளையும் படிக்கலாமே!