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A young Indian takes yoga to Afghanistan

 Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Jan 3: A young yoga teacher from Haridwar is quietly making waves in Afghanistan, spreading the ancient Indian science of harmonisation of body, mind and spirit to a rising number of yoga enthusiasts in that country. In a short span since he based himself in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, Ghulam Askari Zaidi, in his mid-30s, has helped popularise yoga among numerous young and not-so-young Afghans — both male and female. Originally from Lucknow, Zaidi was sent to Afghanistan for a year by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Zaidi has been involved with the Yoga Foundation at Mazar-e-Sharif, once the hub of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, set up by the Afghanistan Olympic Committee’s zonal unit in collaboration with the Indian consulate there.
Zaidi said in a telephonic interview that people in Afghanistan, particularly youths, were most enthusiastic about yoga.
“The reason is they find it beneficial in so many ways. People have been attracted to yoga because of the health benefits they can get from it as well as spiritual well-being,” he said.
“Some are also interested in teaching and promoting yoga in other countries,” he added. “And with all the conflict and war around them, they find yoga soothing.” (IANS)