The Government can market the rich ancient heritage of Assam armed with 'Yoga Tourism' in the national capital of India and abroad to woo both domestic and international tourists to different Yoga centres in the State.
Amar Krishna Paul
(The writer is the Principal, Creative Academy, GS Road, Lachinagar, Guwahati-7, He can be reached at email:firstname.lastname@example.org)
The deadliest Coronavirus crisis has crippled the world economy. It has not only hit the economic activities of all countries but also affected the 'wellness industry' in the entire globe.
Glad to say, the current pandemic situation has taught us many wise lessons. First of all, it has taught us to be health-conscious. Secondly, we've become economic in spending the hard-earned incomes. Thirdly, we've got a golden chance to live a long time with family members. Fourthly, we've learnt how to boost our immune system (fine-tune fighting capacity against common diseases). Last, but not least, many of us lost jobs in the private sector. However, we have developed a zeal to tap the unexplored and unlimited potentialities in the Yoga 'wellness industry'.
That is, the Yoga industry has found a strong footing in the wellness industry in the ongoing pandemic period. According to a recent study, over half of the 200 million Yoga practitioners are of Indian origin. India, the birthplace of this ancient practice has resurfaced for the global market. The fiscal year 2020-21 has ensured that Yoga and associated terms have made it to the top of web search results.
Over the years, the number of practitioners has increased and the trend continues, making a conscious shift towards Yoga, meditation and personal well-being. These statements stand true as a global testament to this industry. According to global statistics, the number of Yoga practitioners is predicted to rise to a staggering 60 million people, by 2022 in the USA alone.
Let's now focus on the challenges being faced in the Yoga industry. The Indian yoga industry is a largely unorganized sector. The way this new industry is sprawling there should have some mechanics to analyse it. During the pandemic, many teachers were not able to digitally teach because they couldn't find the right gateway to accept the international students' fee because of their unregistered setup.
This multi-billion dollar industry is growing and making strides of its own accord. Its capacity to support and enhance the remedy of a varied spectrum of illnesses along with preventive capabilities makes it the poster of the wellness industry.
It has also found its way into the travel and tourism industry, popularly known as 'Yoga Tourism'. A sudden entry of concepts like Yoga retreats and cruises in many Indian cities like Rishikesh, Goa, Kerala, Pondicherry, Kerala, Gokarna are home to a vast number of Yoga schools and retreats, that cater to the various styles of Yoga and can be chosen to suit one's budget needs.
Now let's find an interesting story on the benefits of Yoga and vegetarian diets.
Regular practice of Yoga and vegetarian diets are the secret of success of scaling Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, by Shri Manish Kumar Deka. He scaled Mount Everest on May 24, 2013. He, along with other Everesters, spent about 20 minutes on Mount Everest. For him, the great event is a thrilling experience.
In a chat with this writer, Shri Deka says that one can get sufficient 'good protein, allied minerals and energies from vegetarian diets for an adventurous job like mountaineering and trekking. To him, one gets only 'bad protein from non-veg foods like meat. So, he urges all to avoid non-veg dishes.
"Yoga and vegetarian diets are a good combination," echoes the Everester. Regular practice of Yoga and pranayam helped him a lot during climbing up the mountain through the icy-glacier region of the mighty Himalayas.
In his words, "Many research findings have established the solid fact that our lung is filled up by carbon dioxide by 75 per cent. Carbon dioxide is the food for trees and oxygen is our air food. So, it is the Yoga and pranayam which help us immensely in breathing out the unused carbon dioxide from our lung and fill up the same by fresh oxygen by regularly practising Yoga and pranayam."
He says, "The level of oxygen in the mountain goes down by 30 to 60 per cent from 7,000 feet to 23,000 feet. Therefore, it is very difficult to climb up the mountain in this range. I do regularly practise Yoga and pranayam which have helped me a lot in scaling Mount Everest despite negative deviation of oxygen in the range between 8,000 feet and 23,000 feet height."
There is, in fact, a plethora of job opportunities and healthcare facilities through Yoga in the entire North-eastern region of India. Most importantly, the Government can market the rich ancient heritage of Assam armed with 'Yoga Tourism' in the national capital of India and abroad to woo both domestic and international tourists to different Yoga centres in the State.
Yoga centres to get their centres registered. It will pave the way for a more organised Yoga industry. Funding institutes and universities of yoga to conduct more and more research integrated with Medical Science should also be considered. At last, it will generate unlimited job avenues for the young Indians who have a strong desire to be a 'Gifted Teacher' in Yoga by taking up various orientation courses on Yogic Science far and wide.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in association with Ayush Virtual Convention Centre (AVCC) and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) has organized a series of virtual sessions on Yoga recently. "Be with Yoga, Be at Home" is the central theme of the International Day of Yoga-2021.
Of late, "Namaste Yoga", a mobile application, has been launched and devoted to Yoga. It is designed as an information platform for the public. It aims to raise awareness about Yoga and make it accessible for the larger community.
The Yoga gurus have reinforced that Yoga is not only about physical health, but is related to overall well-being which is of utmost importance in this time of the pandemic. The Yoga gurus have given a clear message, "Yoga is about life and practising Yoga is how we need to change our lifestyle."
Sri Sri Ravishankar said that today's world is in crisis and amidst a pandemic, Yoga shows the way out.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva laid stress on the practical aspect of Yoga and reiterated that practising Yoga is to live a blissful life.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati observed that Yoga is not only a therapy that is being practised from time immemorial but is also a way of life.
To conclude with President Ram Nath Kovind, "Yoga is an approach to holistic wellbeing which includes physical and mental fitness. Its benefits lead to freedom from psychological stress and bodily ailments. It results in a high level of positive energy. It is also a path to spiritual calmness. It is not associated with any religion, region, or people but belongs to the entire world and all of humanity."