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‘Yoga effect is the growth of confidence in oneself'
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 22 - 06 - 2016

[gallery size="medium" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" td_gallery_title_input="‘Yoga effect is the growth of confidence in oneself'" ids="64087,64090,64089,64088,64139"]JEDDAH — Indian Consul General Mohammed Noor Rehman Sheikh marked the 2nd International Day of Yoga by attending two events that highlighted the significance of the ancient Indian discipline and its global recognition.
"I'm happy to be here to mark the 2nd International Yoga Day with you students," Sheikh said at the International Indian School Jeddah (boy's) auditorium, adding, "It is heartening to note that it has become a global event and not an India-specific event."
Last year the first international day was marked with mixed feelings whether it'll become a popular discipline or go downhill. And I'm glad that it has not only become more popular and that the celebration of the day has far exceeded the expectations," Sheikh said.
The consul general reiterated the fact that on Dec. 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. "175 nations, including USA, Canada and China co-sponsored the resolution, and it had the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such nature."
He also revealed that with the growth in popularity the Indian government is thinking of instituting awards for yogis — both teachers and practitioners, while also opening up employment opportunities.
"Why is it important," Sheikh asked, while answering the question after a pause, "Yog is defined as unity of mind and body. It has different forms and the easiest are the asanas (postures). Not only does practicing this discipline keeps us healthy, but the yoga effect is the growth of confidence in oneself and control of one's senses that provides us calmness."
"We should be proud of our Indian practice and am glad that this is being taught and promoted by the Arab Yoga Foundation here. I would even ask the principal to have yoga classes here to derive benefits from yoga," Sheikh said, adding that adults should practice yoga, which has specific asanas to help control many diseases — especially diabetes.
"There are 3 million Indians in the Kingdom and they are our brand ambassadors. They should ensure that relations improve while also seeing to that they do not misbehave in the host country, and the students if they learn yoga in this age can be the proponent of this discipline and its advantages in this country," he said.
"Let us try to make things easy and practicing the various postures in yoga can help. It helps us stay fit and calm. Just like in Islam when we do namaz (pray) or keep roza (fast) it helps us stay fit and clam, yoga too is a practice of simple exercises. I have not heard of anyone who has been affected or afflicted by yoga," the consul general said.
Sheikh cited an example to emphasize yoga's benefits. "In New York a 97-year-old women, who has been practicing yoga, said that yoga was one of the factors for her longevity," Sheikh said, adding, "I'm not saying that we will live up to 97 years, but practicing yoga would definitely help us have an healthy life."
"I do not see any disadvantage in practicing yoga and hopefully we all will use this discipline to further ourselves in our live, while promoting the ancient Indian tradition," he said.
Earlier, Dr. Irshad Ahmed, Consul (Press, Information & Culture), started off the function with a small brief on how the international day came into being. The declaration June 21 being the International Day of Yoga came after the call for the adoption by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on Sept. 27, 2014.
The prime minister stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition . It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature."
Dr. Irshad said that the adoption of the International Day of Yoga "was an invaluable gift of India's tradition, as yoga aims to transform both body and mind."
IISJ Principal Syed Masood Ahmed too elaborated on the basics of yoga that has stood the test of time. "We all know the maxim ‘sound mind in a sound body' and this ancient India practice is an effective means of controlling mind and body." He added, "Since ages we Indians have known about this and yoga is a practice that helps integrate our mind and body."
"We live in a world of global stress and material approval and the practice of this discipline enables us to be rid of this stressful life and attain a mental elation that would be beneficial to us. This is indeed an effective practice," the principal added.
The two events saw about 600 students participating. Simple yoga asanas were performed, with the Consul General Mohammed Noor Rehman Sheikh, performing the sirsasan (the head stand posture), which was met with a round of applause, to the students.

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