Saturday June 23, 2018

Yoga guru BKS Iyengar features on Google Doodle

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New Delhi: BKS Iyengar, India’s foremost yoga teacher who brought the ancient Indian practice to the West, is being celebrated by today’s Google Doodle on the occasion of his 97th birthday.

The animated doodle, made by Kevin Laughlin, features an old man who looks just like Iyengar going through different yoga asanas of the ‘Iyengar Yoga’, a style “characterized by tremendous control and discipline”.

“BKS Iyengar, it’s been said, could hold a headstand for nearly half an hour well into his eighties,” said the search engine giant.

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar was born in 1918 into a poor South Indian family. He was one of 13 children, of whom only 10 survived.

The sickly child suffered from malaria and typhoid. To restore his health, his brother-in-law, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, often referred to as ‘the father of modern yoga’, invited the 13-year-old boy to his yoga school in Mysore.

He studied anatomy, physiology and psychology. After his spine got dislocated in a scooter accident, Iyengar began to experiment on the use of props to help the disabled practice yoga. He later pioneered modern therapeutic yoga.

At 19, Iyengar was sent to Pune to teach yoga, a practice which, according to him, involved both “art and science”. Thus began his career of almost eight decades.

It was here that famed violinist Yehudi Menuhin approached Iyengar because he couldn’t relax or sleep. However, Guru Iyengar, in a 2001 interview with broadcaster Sir Mark Tully, said that Menuhin was “snoring happily away…within one minute.”

The impressed violinist invited Iyengar to Switzerland in 1954, thus launching him as an international guru.

He went on to teach author Aldous Huxley, Sachin Tendulkar, and the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, who is said to have learned his trademark sirsasana headstand at the age of 80.

The yoga guru continued his visits to the West till the practice was taught across several institutes around the world. Guru Iyengar is the only person to have popularized the practice to this extent in India and abroad. Iyengar Yoga is now taught in 70 countries.

Starting with ‘Light on Yoga’, Iyengar authored several other books on yoga as well. He also encouraged women to take up yoga, even during pregnancy.

Iyengar, who passed away in August last year of heart and renal failure at the age of 95, was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991, Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2014 for his immense contribution to yoga. He was also included in TIME’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2004.

“The West knows yoga because of Iyengar. He developed a style of yoga for ordinary people. He introduced simple props and aids like ropes, blankets, wall to facilitate people to make it easy for the masses,” said Yogi Santatmananda Saraswati of Swami Dayananda Ashram, in Rishikesh, at the time of his death.

Today’s doodle based on Iyengar has reached several countries including Russia, US, UK, Indonesia, Canada and Spain.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Google to Train 8,000 Indian Journalists on Fact-checking

Training workshops will be conducted in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada in cities across India, Google India said in a statement

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Google to Train 8,000 Indian Journalists on Fact-checking
Google to Train 8,000 Indian Journalists on Fact-checking. Pixabay

To guard journalists from falling prey to false news stories, Google India on Tuesday said it will provide training to 8,000 journalists in English and six other Indian languages in the next one year.

For this, the Google News Initiative India Training Network will select 200 journalists from cities across India who will hone their skills in verification and training during five-day train-the-trainer boot camps that will be organised for English and six other Indian languages.

This network of certified trainers will then train more journalists at two-day, one-day and half-day workshops organised by the Network.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

Training workshops will be conducted in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada in cities across India, Google India said in a statement.

The focus of the training will be fact-checking, online verification and digital hygiene for journalists, using a curriculum built by experts from First Draft, Storyful, AltNews, BoomLive, Factchecker.in and DataLeads.

Also Read: Google Kills off The Ability to Order an Uber in its Maps App

“Supporting trusted, authoritative media sources is a top priority for Google, which is why we are proud to collaborate with Internews, DataLeads and BoomLive to support journalists in their fight against misinformation in India,” said Irene Jay Liu, Google News Lab Lead, Asia-Pacific.

“Our goal is to train more than 200 trainers, who will then train 8,000 journalists in six languages over the next year, making this Google’s largest training network in the world,” Liu added. (IANS)