YOGA – YUGA
An exclusive interview with Dr.Ishwar Basavaraddi with Nagesh Desai – Programming Head – AYUSH TV.
One of the persons who meticulously managed the International Yoga Day celebrations – including the commentary, schedules of Yoga, reason behind selection of Dehra Dun as the centre of celebration of International Yoga Day. He is none other than our proud Kannadiga Shri Ishwar Basava Reddy – Director of Morarji Desai Institute of Yoga – New Delhi.
Dr. Ishwar Basavaraddi is the Director of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India, since June 2005. Earlier, he worked as Instructor, Lecturer and Head of the Dept. of Yoga Studies, Karnataka University, Dharwad, for 16 years. He has more than 28 years of professional experience in Yoga education, therapy and research. He has imparted Yoga training and therapy to more than Eighty thousand people of all sections of the society.
This was a great experience personally, but i credit Shri Narendra Modi-ji for the success of the International Yoga Day. His intellectual inputs; attention to detail and his vision of popularising Yoga was instrumental for the success of International Yoga Day held at Dehra Dun on June 21st – 2018.
Nagesh Desai: How was the experience of International Yoga Day -2018, where you have worked very hard, particularly in the last 10-15 days from choosing the location; rehearsals; choosing the Asanas to be performed and the reasons on choosing Dehra Dun as the venue for International Day of Yoga?
Dr.Ishwar: Yoga has seen a phenomenal growth in the past four years. Narendra Modi-ji our Prime Minister has given all encouragement in all respects. His attention to detail, his decades of experience; his thoughts, suggestions made it easier for us to achieve our goal. Around 25-30 years ago when we started our career, Yoga was still not popular with the people. We had to go to each village and lecture the people, students to take up Yoga for better health. But things are completely different now: From eminent political leaders, Rashtrapathi Bhavan till the commoner understands the importance of Yoga.
The common public have very good knowledge about Yoga today. Many talented youngsters are making a profession by learning Yoga. The time has changed from we going behind them to the youngsters and the present generation’s interest and passion in learning Yoga.
Many meritorious students who would earlier select Engineering or Medical streams are now choosing to learn Yoga and make a career out of it. There is huge demand for our diploma courses in Yoga in our institution. Lots of students who have scored very good marks are now getting enrolled into our courses. There has been a multitude of opportunities in the field of Yoga to the youth.
Coming to organizing the International Day of Yoga in Dehra Dun – the entire process was organized within 3 weeks. Forest Research Institute (FRI) was chosen as the venue for the event.
The programme started at 7 AM in the morning and went on till 7.45 AM with over 60,000 participants who collectively performed different asanas in the presence of the Prime Minister Modi-ji. There were two rehearsals for the event on 18th and 19th June.
The Uttarakhand Police, the Army, para-military personnel, NCC, NSS, Scout guide, yog sansthan, school and college students, and representatives of different organisations participated in the International Day of Yoga -2018.
We trained all the students and other participants as per the CYP (Common Yoga Protocol). It was a meticulous effort to train them and ensure all goes well on the International Yoga Day.
More than 62,000 participants had registered for the programme; however, we could allow only 51,000 people inside the FRI stadium due to security and logistical reasons. It was a grand event seeing the presence of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi-ji, Governor of Uttarkhand, Chief Minister of Uttarkhand and a host of dignitaries. It was a life time experience for all of us to have worked in the event and seen the global success of the event.
Nagesh Desai:Yoga day should not be restricted to celebrating on 21st of June every year, in this regard, how does the AYUSH department or the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga work on popularising and propagating the benefits of Yoga ?
There are different types of traditions, schools which include: Ashtanga Yoga, Sri Sri Yoga, Shivananda Yoga have evolved. People are a bit confused on practicing the right type of Yoga as there are many schools of thought which practice and preach their Yoga. All these considerations were thought about when we decided to celebrate the International Day of Yoga and evolve a CYP (Common Yoga Protocol).
AYUSH Ministry and Morarji National Institute of Yoga started Indian Yoga Association was setup. I am the secretary of this association and Shri H.R.Nagendra ji is the Chairman of the Indian Yoga Association. We consolidated the opinions of all professionals including Baba Ramdev ji, Shri Shri Ravishankar, Jaggi Vasudev ji, Iyengar Yoga and evolved a Common Yoga Protocol. Initially it was around 20 minutes but later changed to 45 minutes. We discussed on various aspects, including whether to practice Suryanamaskara before beginning the Yogasanas. Since, we got objections for practicing Suryanamaskara, we started practicing Yogic Sookshma Chalana Kriya was started and brought all forms of Yoga in Common Yoga Protocol. The Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) has included portions from all the schools of thought. I feel elated to inform you that more than 8-10 crores follow the Common Yoga Protocol, while more than28-30 crores of them practiced the CYP on the International Day of Yoga.
The reason behind conducting International Yoga Day across various States is for the proliferation of Yoga across all states; encourage, provide an impetus to the local Yoga associations and help the government to boost up their efforts in encouraging Yoga at the micro level. All these will be implemented by working with the respective State governments and Yoga associations.
From a student’s perspective can we make Yoga as a career? Is there a particular syllabus in Yoga?
In the first stage Yoga should be taught in schools and colleges and the in the later stages it has been introduced as a subject in college to learn further and explore various things including if Yoga is an Art; Yoga is a Science or Yoga as a career. This is taught at the university level. A Yoga professional is one who understands Yoga in all respects and has not only practiced it but also understands the various concepts of Yoga completely.
Karnataka is the home for Yoga; it has given world class professionals in the field of Yoga. It might be Krishnamachari, BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, HR Nagendra ji, my guru Lakshman Kumar, Sri Sri Ravishankar and many other professionals.
After Uttarkhand and Haridwar, Mysuru is the only city which has given maximum number of Yoga schools to the country. Our Mysuru, has great potential in health tourism. I also feel that Mysuru, Tumakuru, Davangere, Gadag, Dharwad, Belagavi, Gulbarga, Bidar and even Bengaluru has many prominent Yoga schools.
In 1961, a Yoga school was started in Sagara, Karntaka. Yoga was introduced as a subject of learning in Karnataka University in the year 1976. Karnataka has played a very important role in the development of Yoga in the country.
Karnataka has given renowned experts to the world.
Nagesh Desai: Since there are different schools of Yoga, is there any certification from AYUSH Ministry or any other institution?
Very good question; in 2015 who have the requisite skills, knowledge about Yoga knowledge and methods of teaching they are categorized in Level:1 level:2 and level”:3 and these candidates are subject to Qualified Yoga Professionals. Those who have desirous to make a career in Yoga have to go through the syllabus to become a Yoga professional. Today the Wellness Industry is a billion dollar industry. Nearly 3,000-4,500 have taken up this Qualified Yoga Professional course. Any diploma or degree is not needed to do this and it required to study and practicing the syllabus.
Since this was done on a very small scale, the AYUSH Ministry has given us Morarji Desai Institute to expand the initiative. We have set up a Yoga Professional Board – here we have setup a Professional Certification Bodies have been setup in different States and Districts. Those who study here or train here will get an approval of authority from AYUSH department, Government of India, under various levels, which include Yoga Therapist, Yoga Instructor – level: 1, level: 2 and this is a big step towards making a career in Yoga.
Is there any website/contact information so that Yoga enthusiasts can get more information?
Dr.Ishwar: Yes, those who need more information can log on to www.yogamdniy.nic.in or ayush.gov.in to get more information.