Yoga for youth
The yoga summer camp aims at building cultural and spiritual values and promotes general health through asanas, pranayama and meditation.
Moments of meditation...
Twelve-year-old Pavan, a diehard cricket fan, prefers the cool, serene and salubrious environs of the sprawling Satyananada Yoga Ashrama, Pammaru during summer.
Pavan feels the coaching he undergoes here gives him immense mental and physical satisfaction, that perhaps no other sport would give him.
A student of Nalanda High School, Vijayawada, Pavan is one of the several hundreds of students in the age group of 10-20 years from different parts of the State and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, who flock to the month-long free "nation building'' camp every year organised by the Swami Satyananda Yoga Ashramam, an affiliate of the famed Bihar School of Yoga.
The camp conducted by Swami Bhakti Chaitanya in May for the past six years aims at building noble ideals, patriotic fervour, respect for the traditional Indian cultural and spiritual values, boosting an individual's memory power and promote general health through yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation.
Located at Pammaru mandal about 45 kilometres from Vijayawada city, the ashram is housed in the sprawling 35 acres of lush green environment. While Vijayawada city is notorious for its blazing summer heat, the temperature in the ashramam is ironically five degrees less here, owing to the greenery. A student of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, Gautami (12) has been visiting the ashramam for the past four years. "Though, the training period is only for 10 days, I have taken the swamiji's permission to continue in the camp for the whole month, because I like this atmosphere and the teaching ,'' says Gautami.
According to Swami Bhakti Chaitanyananda, training in moral values and nation building is highly essential in today's world where moral values is perhaps is at its lowest ebb.
``Unfortunately, when they first came here none of them, even know how to sing the national anthem or Vande matram. But look at them now, they can even recite any Sanskrit sloka from the Bhagavad Gita,'' says the swami.
During the month long camp, the children are trained to get up early in the morning at 4.30 and have their bath. It is followed by the chanting of the Vedic mantras, meditation, pranayama, mono actions, mock plays and story telling of heroes from the freedom struggle and the epics.
Students are advised not to talk or watch programmes while taking their food as that would affect the duodenal system leading to a host of ailments. The swami claims that bad habits like watching TV or talking badly affects the digestive process in turn leading to various ailments like gastric problems, ulcers, diabetes, hypertensions and so on. He regrets that today most people eat food while watching TV or are engaged in some sort of conversation.
``We also teach Suryanamaskar which can cure or control a host of diseases in man and keeps the mind ever fresh and the body agile,'' he says.
The children are provided free food and lodging. "Parents however are not allowed to meet their children during the camp. Even talking to them on the phone is taboo, as we insist on total seclusion, so that they don't get distracted by other worldly matters," says an inmate of the ashram.
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