The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu has urged educational institutions to include Yoga as part of online learning programmes being conducted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as it is one of the best options to improve the body’s immunity.Speaking at the digital 'Yoga and Meditation Shivir' organised by SPIC MACAY on the occasion of International Day of Yoga, the Vice President said that Yoga is a unique gift of India to the world which is successfully transforming millions of lives around the globe.He said children must be introduced to Yoga at a young age. “I am glad that ‘UNICEF Kid Power’ has listed 13 Yoga stretches and poses for children,” he added.Observing that the 5,000-year-old Yoga tradition is not a mere workout, he said "It is a science that emphasizes balance, poise, grace, equanimity, peace and harmony". Various components of yoga such as postures, breathing exercises and meditation techniques together help in bringing about a positive transformation in the human body and mind in innumerable ways, he added.Calling for large-scale scientific experimentation to further explore the immense possibilities of Yoga as a wellness solution, Shri Naidu said Yoga as a mode of therapy or Yog Chikitsa has become extremely popular. He said that a large number of studies offer scientific evidence for its potential to treat a number of diseases.Referring to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical and mental health of the people, the Vice President said, “Indeed the world is going through challenging times and we simply cannot allow the pandemic to get the better of us.
We have to unite and put up a stronger fight and to ensure that we are healthy, both physically and mentally."He said that yoga can be an effective solution for the high level of stress that the pandemic has created in our lives. “Yoga is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health and its full potential must be harnessed," he added.Pointing out that the pandemic was not the only health crisis that was threatening the wellbeing of the people, he expressed concern over the increase in lifestyle diseases. Quoting WHO, he said it was estimated that 63 % of all deaths in India in 2016 were because of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).” Yoga remains an incredibly simple but powerful instrument to prevent and control lifestyle diseases”, Shri Naidu observed.Expressing concern over instances of youngsters ending their lives when unable to cope with the modern-day pressures and stress, he said all such deaths were completely avoidable. Yoga can help in dealing effectively with problems like depression, anxiety and stress, which have become all-pervasive due to modern lifestyle, he added.Referring to India’s huge demographic advantage, he said "we must do our best to ensure that our youngsters are physically, mentally and emotionally fit".Appreciating the government programs like ‘Scheme for Voluntary Certification of Yoga Professionals’, he said, "through the scheme, more professional Yoga teachers will be certified, increasing the spread and practice of Yoga."The Vice President said that Yoga has become one of the biggest fitness movements across the globe and the onus of keeping it alive depends on all of us. He said: "The ancient heritage of India, Yoga has had an uninterrupted tradition and the onus of keeping this priceless tradition alive is on all of us”.The Vice President said that such Shivirs are a step in the right direction and hoped for many such programs in the future for the benefit of youngsters.