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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Take the lead if you have passion for people, society’

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Chennai: Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who mastered the Art of Living, urged Gen Y to enter into the country’s political scene and ‘make the change’ in a conference on Wednesday.

Present in The New Indian Express ThinkEdu Conclave, the spiritual guru said, “Politicians are not some special class or species who have come from another planet. They are one among you, among us. So, one of you must take the lead. If you have the passion for people and service to society, you must come.”

Discussing among the gathering of curious students and academics on the wrong way politicians view their ‘jobs’ in today’s time, he said, “Unfortunately in this country and everywhere else in the world, politics is no longer a service, it has lost its sheen and respect, which it had during the time of Kamaraj and Mahatma Gandhi and a few generations before us. That needs to be set right.” He exhorted the youth to make that change, en masse. “Not one or two persons can do it, but all of you collectively can. Youth of this country have the power to bring change. So you need to ask politicians whether they’re here for service or business.”

He also spoke on the country’s ever burning issue of Corruption. Calling it a debilitating factor that took a toll not only on politics but also impacted several spheres, he held corruption responsible for obstructing a nation’s progress.

“Corruption has entered every field. One of the biggest reasons is the lack of education. It should create a sense of belonging. The sense of belonging is the only way to combat corruption. Corruption begins where this sense of belonging ends and to create this, education must be attuned to human values,” he said and added, “Whether religion should be taught in schools or not is secondary. Students should be taught ethics and values first. That is essential.”

Claiming ‘yoga’ and ‘ayurveda’ of being mediums to imbibing ethics necessary for an education with sound knowledge, Ravi Shankar said yoga should be mandatory in schools and colleges and imparted as an art.

The guru was further interrogated upon whether these practices, innately related with ‘Hindu’, give it a political colour, seeing the political repercussions on Yoga Day. He replied, “Just because Yoga or Ayurveda are part of Hinduism, it doesn’t mean that it won’t work for a non-Hindu. We are global citizens today and education has no boundaries.”

He emphasised that one should choose values and ethics without thinking twice, adding that many of the ethical and value-centric practices have their roots in Hindu culture. Despite that, they follow a scientific trajectory which proves the fact that religion and science could co-exist peacefully. (With inputs from The New Indian Express, Image Source: vishwagujarat.com)

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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