As per guidelines issued by UGC and Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, the International Day of Yoga 2018 was celebrated at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (Deemed University accredited with ‘A’ Grade by NAAC), Pondicherry in a grand manner with a fortnight of celebrations from 11-26 June 2018.
The events included programs for the Faculty of Nursing at PIMS , Global Trust School of Cuddalore, SHINE Cancer Rehabilitation Society near JIPMER, Kavingyar Bharatidasan HSS in Kuruvinatham, Integra Software Solutions, Senior Citizens of Serene Pelican Township, Indian Women Network and Jothi Eye Care, MGMC&RI hospital, Prabath Skill Development Centre, All India Radio Puducherry, SCHOD, Indian Bank, Yoganjali Natyalayam and Satya Special School.
The CYTER team also participated in the Common Yoga Protocol mass demonstration at Pondicherry promenade organized by Pondicherry Tourism and Education departments.
A Regional Level Yogasana Competition was conducted for students of the Health Professional Education institutions of Puducherry and more than 80 students participated in the competition with prize winners from MGMCRI, IGIDS, KGNC and AVMC’s college of Nursing, physiotherapy and audiometry.
CYTER’s Deputy Director Dr Meena was also an invited speaker at the “Yoga Ambassador Tour 2018” organised by AYUSH, Kerala Ministries of Health and Tourism and ATTOI attended by more than 70 participants from over 23 countries around the world on 14 June 2018.
The grand finale of the SBV IDY 2018 celebrations was the National Seminar-cum-CME on “Swastha Manas: Mental Health and Well-being through Yoga” that was held on 26 June 2018 at SBV campus. More than 100 delegates from six countries and seven Indian states attended the day-long sessions with eminent experts from all over India.
The first session of the day was on “Physiological basis of mental illness” and an excellent presentation was delivered by Dr Kaviraja Udupa from NIMHANS, Bangalore. In his lucid presentation, he delved into the details of how mental illnesses occur and explored the mechanisms through neurophysiology. He elucidated various studies on yoga and mental health and the audience gained immense knowledge from the session.
This was followed by the inaugural function with the Presidential Address by Prof KR Sethuraman, Vice Chancellor of SBVU who said that CYTER combines rigorous scientific approach with faithful adherence to the traditions of Yogic practice to create an effective therapy that is complementary to modern medicine. He reiterated the wholehearted support of the management of SBV for Yoga therapy as an effective complementary therapy and that these services are offered totally free to all patients. He emphasized the need for clinicians to move from “pathogenesis, the search for factors causing pathology to salutogenesis a search for factors supporting health and wellbeing”.
Special Address was given by Ammaji Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Director of ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry. She stressed on the need to have a questioning attitude as exemplified by the great Rishis in the Vedic and Upanishadic lore. “The question is more important than the answer for the question determines our viewfinder, our trajectory and pathway towards higher evolution,” said she in an inspiring address. Wellness depends on the choices we make, and the only freedom we have is to choose our attitude towards life. When we adopt an attitude of acceptance, we realize how blessed we are, and then life becomes a heaven rather than a hell. She commended SBV on its innovative efforts towards developing positive health rather than merely focusing on the disease.
A MoU was signed between CYTER of SBV and School of Indology of the Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar and felicitations offered by Prof N Ananthakrishnan, Dean PG, Research Studies and Allied Sciences of SBV.
The souvenir and CD of the International Day of Yoga 2018 celebrations at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry compiled and edited by Dr AB Bhavanani, Dr Meena Ramanathan and Sri G Dayanidy were released on the occasion along with the Third Edition of Dr Meena’s book on, “Applied Yoga”.
In his Keynote address on Human Excellence and Yogic tools for mental health and wellbeing, Dr Chinmay Pandya, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar explored the importance of unravelling human potential and helping it manifest in the world today. He gave numerous examples of how seemingly ordinary people could make a difference in the world by making their own small and sustained efforts towards helping humanity. He quoted Swami Vivekananda in saying, ” All souls are potentially Divine” and added that it is up to us to manifest that through an attitude of service for the society and the entire humanity.
Participants were treated to an interactive practice session on Yoga for Mental Health by Dr Meena Ramanathan,
Deputy Director, CYTER and this was followed in the afternoon by a humour filled, enlightening session by
“Overcoming negative mindsets through yoga therapy” by Dr Kausthub Desikachar of the Krishnamacharya Healing &
Yoga Foundation, Chennai. He brought out succinctly the great teachings of the Yoga Sutras and Hatha Pradipika in removing the blockages within us that are sustaining negativities. ” It is only when you break through the blockages from within, that you can truly attain a state of ease with yourself”, said he. He stressed on the concept of Swastha Manas, being an inner state of existence where one is established in their own essential nature and not trying to merely copy others or live by the rules set for us by others.
This was followed by an invigorating Panel discussion on Mental Health in Different Communities moderated by Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Director CYTER. Different perspectives on mental health, the challenges in various communities and the role of yoga in it was discussed with the Senior Citizen Community represented by Prof. Ambujam Sreedevi, HOD, Dept. of DVL, MGMC&RI, the Transgender Community by Dr Sameera M J, Dept. of Anesthesiology, MGMC&RI, the Special Children Community by Mrs Chitra Shah, Founder, Satya Special School, and the Women’s Community by Dr Vananja Vaithiyanathan, Founder, Jothi Eye Care. Dr Naveen G H from the Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai gave the perspectives of bringing Yoga therapy into a hospital set up and shared his experiences in the field of Yoga and mental health at NIMHANS and in CARE.