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Six Central Universities to introduce Yoga Departments in India, says Smriti Irani

Union HRD Minister said that in view of significant role of Yoga to develop all faculties of life, the HRD ministry has taken steps to popularize yoga from school to University level

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Bengaluru : Yoga enthusiasts performs yoga at Art of Living Center in Bengaluru on Saturday. Image source: PTI / Shailendra Bhojak
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  • Smriti Irani announced the establishment of yoga departments in six central universities 
  • A panel suggested that certificate courses be offered to Master’s and Bachelor’s in yogic sciences
  • AICTE has held yoga workshops under the pretext of Yoga Day

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development addressing a National Seminar on Yoga has announced that Yoga departments will be opened up in six universities in the academic calendar 2016-17, eventually expanding to 20 universities.

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The universities that will currently feature a department for yoga are Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Uttarakhand (North), Visva Bharati, West Bengal (East), Central University of Rajasthan (West), Central University of Kerala (South), Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh,(Central) and Manipur University (North East), said the hinduismtoday.com report.

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Smriti Irani. Image source: indiatoday.intoday.in
Smriti Irani. Image source: indiatoday.intoday.in

The seminar was attended by vice chancellors of the universities concerned. Irani urged academicians to set scientific importance of yogic sciences. In IIT Kharagpur, this has been achieved through empirical evidences. Efforts by AICTE for conducting various workshops throughout the country were well appreciated.

A panel headed by Prof H.R. Nagendra has suggested that certificate courses to Bachelor’s and Master’s would be offered in yogic sciences, says pib.nic.in.

-The report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram. 

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Yoga Face-toning May Compete With Fillers, Face-lifts

"The jury is still out on whether or not facial yoga is effective in reversing the signs of aging," he said in an email.

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Yoga face toning is an effective way of reducing the signs of ageing. VOA
  • Yoga face toning may take over botox and face lifting procedures.
  • 27 participants noted changes in their faces after weeks of this experiment.
  • It is still a matter of discussion if this method can reverse ageing or not.

In his toolbox of Botox, fillers and plastic surgery, cosmetic dermatologist Dr Murad Alam has added a new, low-cost, noninvasive anti-ageing treatment: facial yoga.

Dermatologists measured improvements in the appearance of the faces of a small group of middle-aged women after they did half an hour of daily face-toning exercises for eight weeks, followed by alternate-day exercises for another 12 weeks.

Facial exercises are healthier than surgeries. Pixabay
Facial exercises are healthier than surgeries. Pixabay

The results surprised lead author Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“In fact, the results were stronger than I expected,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s really a win-win for patients.”

Participants included 27 women between 40 and 65, though only 16 completed the full course. It began with two 90-minute muscle-resistant facial exercise-training sessions led by co-author Gary Sikorski of Happy Face Yoga in Providence, Rhode Island.

Participants learned to perform cheek pushups and eye-bag removers, among other exercises. Then they practised at home.

Improvements noted

Dermatologists looking at unmarked before-and-after photos saw improvements in upper cheek and lower cheek fullness, and they estimated the average age of women who stuck with the program as significantly younger at the end than at the start.

Face yoga is a healthier substitute to surgical procedures. Pixabay
Face yoga is a healthier substitute for surgical procedures. Pixabay

The average estimated age dropped almost three years, from nearly 51 years to 48 years.

Participants also rated themselves as more satisfied with the appearance of their faces at the study’s end, Alam and colleagues reported in JAMA Dermatology.

“Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of ageing,” Alam said. “Assuming the findings are confirmed in a larger study, individuals now have a low-cost, non-toxic way of looking younger or augmenting other cosmetic or anti-ageing treatments they may be seeking.”

The exercises enlarge and strengthen facial muscles to firm and tone the face, giving it a younger appearance, he said.

Happy Face sells instructional worksheets — promising smoother skin, firmed cheeks and raised eyelids — for $19.95. DVDs cost $24.95.

Some skepticism

But not all dermatologists are rushing to promote the videos or the exercises.

Dr John Chi, a plastic surgeon and professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, said the study raises more questions than it answers.

“The jury is still out on whether or not facial yoga is effective in reversing the signs of ageing,” he said in an email.

Chi, who was not involved with the study, said he would recommend facial yoga to patients who found it relaxing and enjoyable but not for the purpose of facial rejuvenation.

“While the premise of facial exercises to improve the facial appearance or reverse signs of ageing is an appealing one, there is little evidence to suggest that there is any benefit in this regard,” he said.

Chi said facial yoga had not been rigorously examined in peer-reviewed scientific studies. Asked whether procedures such as face-lifts, Botox and fillers had been rigorously examined in peer-reviewed studies, he replied: “Great question. Attempts to do so have been made in the scientific literature with variable levels of scientific rigour.”

Alam agrees that his study raises additional research questions, such as whether the exercises would work for men and how much time people need to commit to doing the exercises for them to be optimally effective. He would like to see a larger study. VOA