Indian High Commissioner to Botswana Dr Ketan Shukla last Sunday encouraged people to practice yoga as it helps improve health and relieve stress.
Speaking at the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the Adansonia Hotel, Francistown, Shukla who got a yoga certification online told his audience, “Apart from the spiritual goals, the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple.”
The International Day of Yoga was approved by the 193-member United Nations General Assembly in September 2014 and June 21 was adopted as its official date.
Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had in his address to the UN General Assembly suggested the day, which incidentally is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.
June 21 is also one of the two solstices and has special significance in many parts of the world. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated thousands of years ago and has overtime spread worldwide.
“Yoga has been shown to improve mood and anxiety than some other exercises such as walking. Its three main focuses: exercise, breathing and meditation make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease,” explained Shukla, who is also India’s Special Representative to the Southern African Development Community.
He went on to say that yoga is also good for alleviating back pain and helps in the treatment of cancer patients, as it helps decrease depression, insomnia, pain and fatigue, thus improving the patient’s quality of life.
Shukla added that research suggests than yoga may be used as treatment for schizophrenia. “Encouraging but inclusive evidence suggests that yoga as a complimentary treatment may help alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia” he said.
Meanwhile a quick survey of those who braved the chilly winter weather to attended the event, amongst them Francistown Mayor Sylvia Muzila, suggested they would take up the High Commissioner’s challenge in a bid to better their mental, physical and spiritual well being.