State Programme Manager, National AYUSH Mission, Assam Dr Burhan Uddin Choudhury unveils the plans for International Yoga Day celebrations in Assam
Please tell us more about the second yoga day celebrations. How is it going to be different?
On 21 June, 2015 the First International Day of Yoga was celebrated all over the world with immense enthusiasm. People across the world joined in large numbers. To take forward the momentum created by created by IDY, 2015, Assam is putting up its best possible efforts to celebrate the 2nd International Day of Yoga this year in a befitting manner by highlighting the benefits of Yoga for better physical and mental health and social harmony
Why Majuli has been chosen as the venue?
Government of Assam is preparing to celebrate the State level function of 2nd International Day of Yoga at the largest riverine island, Majuli. The island is the seat of Vaishnavite culture propagated by the saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva. Reference regarding the early existence of Majuli is found in Yogini Tranta that Sutiya king Ratnadhajpal founded his capital in Ratanpur, Majuli which was perhaps washed away by the Brahmaputra. Mājuli has been the cultural capital of Assamese civilisation since the 16th century; based on written records describing the visit of Srimanta Sankardeva – a 16th-century social reformer. Sankardeva, a pioneer of the medieval-age neo-Vaishnavite movement, preached a monotheist form of Hinduism called Vaishnavism and established monasteries and hermitages known as satras on the islet. Majuli has been selected as the venue to focus its heritage and diverse culture. It shall be our endeavour to propagate the message of peace and unity through Yoga by taking it to the masses, across social strata, giving special emphasis to the youth.
What would be the highlights of the event in Majuli?
It is expected that thousands of people will do mass yoga 0n this day from 7 am to 8 am in the morning as per Common Yoga Protocol. Many Yoga gurus, social activists, political leaders, health experts will also participate the event to share their expertise to carry forward the momentum created by Yoga for maintaining a positive healthy body and mind. There will be Yoga fest and other yoga related activities on that day.
Who are the main guests expected to grace the occasion?
Chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal and Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Health, Finance & Education Minister, Assam will be the chief guest and guest of honour respectively. Many other yoga gurus and social activist are also expected to attend the event.
What are the plans to make yoga a part of life of the people of Assam?
Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change. The state government is planning to create yoga set-up in 26000 villages of Assam. Under National AYUSH Mission, Assam and Sports Youth Welfare Department, GoA, Yoga wellness Centres will be set up in 10 District Sports stadiums in the year 2016. Yoga wellness centre will be set up in two central jails under National AYUSH Mission, Assam. National AYUSH Mission, Assam will conduct district level yoga awareness camps to popularize the yoga.
What are the main yoga protocols this year?
The present Common Yoga Protocol contains some Yoga practices e.g. Yogic Sukshma Vyayama, Yogasanas, and Pranayama apart from 45 minutes Common Yoga Protocol, a provision has been made for leading Yoga institutions to incorporate 15 minutes Institutional Yogic practices e.g. Pranayama, Yoga Nidra, Dhayana, Satsang before Sankalpa as deemed fit. This makes the total duration of one hour of Yoga practice on International Day of Yoga.
How can yoga usher in a healthy nation?
Yoga has been shown to improve health. Several studies have found that yoga can help improve cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, balance, and overall quality of life — and it can even reduce stress, anxiety and pain. In addition, people who do yoga are 20% more likely to have a positive image of their own physical and mental health, including a stronger sense of mental clarity, physical fitness, flexibility, and strength Yoga can usher you towards a healthier lifestyle as well.