Friday December 15, 2017

Celebrating the Spirit of Yoga: To mark International Yoga Day, Indian Embassy in Cairo organises Yoga at a park

The second International Day of Yoga coincided with the holy month of Ramadan and both of them celebrates the same spiritual aspirations of people

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A woman practicing yoga. Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
The Indian Embassy in Cairo played host to the second International Day of Yoga at the scenic Al-Azhar Park on June 21, 2016. The historical monuments — the minarets of famous mosques and the iconic Saladin Citadel — formed the perfect backdrop for the event that was held after Iftaar during the holy month of Ramadan.
It saw a participation of more than 1,500 yoga enthusiasts including politicians, businessmen, diplomats, media persons and members of the Indian community. Imaj Hassan Ahmed, Miss Earth Egypt 2015, was the chief guest of the event.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
Highlighting the importance of the day that was celebrated on June 21 in 193 countries around the world, India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya, said, “Yoga is India’s gift to humanity and in just a year’s time, it has gained immense popularity in the Land of Pyramids. The second International Day of Yoga coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, and they both promote the same spiritual aspirations of people.”
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He added that the holy month calls for self-control, spiritual development and aims at attaining peace of mind. “These concepts are in line with the core principles of yoga to achieve peace through meditation and self-discipline,” Bhattacharyya said.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
As a thoughtful gesture, the Indian Embassy had scheduled the celebration in the evening as most people fast during the day. Organising the event after dusk saw the participation of Indians, Egyptians and other foreigners in large numbers.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Yoga was ‘Connect the Youth’. In tune with it, more than 400 school children, 40 yoga instructors and their students participated in the event and presented a  special performance based on yoga asanas. Even regular visitors of the park enthusiastically joined in the celebration.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
A local music group performed a few instrumental songs that opened the spectacular event on Tuesday evening, June 21. The yoga instructors took turns in conducting a variety of meditation and exercise sessions to enthral those present at the venue. The Ambassador delivered the welcome address; it was followed by the chief guest’s speech. In her address, Miss Earth Egypt 2015 said, “Yoga has become popular all over the world because of its benefits. It helps us improve our behaviour towards ourselves and nature as well.”
The Common Yoga Protocol was played in Arabic, and all the participants enthusiastically performed yoga asanas. There were also many other activities including yoga dance, group yoga, circle yoga, advanced yoga, meditation, and cultural performances as part of the celebration.

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Ahmed Darwish, Chairman of the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone, told that he is a recent convert to yoga and but though he is a late starter, he is a sincere practitioner.
In the run up to the second International Day of Yoga, the Indian Embassy had conducted an online photography competition titled “Yoga in Egypt”. A first-ever yoga championship was also organised by the Indian Embassy on June 5, 2016, under four categories, with the age of participants ranging from 4 to 72 years. The winners of the two competitions were awarded prizes during the event at Al-Azhar Park on June 21, 2016.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) in Cairo has been conducting yoga classes since 1993. But in the past few years, yoga has become quite popular in Egypt, and many gyms, clubs and organisations have started conducting yoga classes. The number of yoga schools in Egypt has increased threefold in the last one year, from 14 to 40. The growing popularity was reflected in the participation and support of a vast number of people at the International Day of Yoga event.
In addition to the ‘Yoga at the Park’ event held in Cairo, the Indian Embassy is organising such celebrations in two other Egyptian cities — ‘Yoga by the Suez Canal’ in Ismailia on June 23 and ‘Yoga at the Beach’ in Alexandria on June 25 — to mark the occasion.
Two more events — ‘Yoga by the Suez Canal’ in Ismailia on June 23 and ‘Yoga at the Beach’ in Alexandria on June 25 — will be held to celebrate the occasion

-by Shillpi A Singh, a freelance contributor at NewsGram. She can be contacted at shilpi.devsingh@gmail.com 

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Wow! Yoga in Cairo. There should be a twist with a little bit of their traditional dance moves 🙂

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Indulge in Yoga for a healthy and a good respiratory system

This article gives information on Yoga which is a very beneficial hack for having a good respiratory system

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Yoga good for healthy and respiratory body.
Yoga good for healthy and respiratory body. IANS
  • Akshar explains the benefits of Yoga
  • Yoga being the ultimatum for a good respiratory system

-by Akshar

Smog, the choking threat which has landed the national capital in a pollution emergency, has been the cause of many respiratory problems in children and adults. When your daily commute feels like living on the edge, what are your other outdoor activities supposed to feel like?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is dangerous to breathe when there is too much smog. Smog contains ozone particles, and elevated ozone levels can have a variety of negative effects on your lungs.

While it is advised to stay indoors when the air is toxic outside, a more practical solution would be to establish a habit of cleansing your respiratory organs through Yoga.

If Yoga has been shown to improve the quality of life of lung cancer patients, it could definitely do wonders against other respiratory issues. Here are a few asanas you could try to give you relief from chest congestion, respiratory flues and discomfort in breathing.

* Pranayama: This has proved beneficial for those suffering with bronchitis or lung congestion.

How to do it:

1. While performing pranayama one should make sure that his or her back is straight and should concentrate on the breathing.

2. Sahaj Pranayama, which is also called easy breathing, involves breathing a few times deeply.

3. Inhale through the nostrils for five counts and hold the breath for 10 counts.

4. Exhale through the mouth for 10 counts; this has to be repeated 10-12 times.

* Adho Mukha Svanasana: This posture strengthens the chest muscles and expands the lung region, increasing its capacity.

How to do it:

1. From table top position, tuck your toes, straighten your legs and lift your hips towards the ceiling.

2. Adjust your hands forward a bit, if necessary, and spread your fingers.

3. Keep your spine long, and your head and neck in line with your spine. Hold for one minute.

* Bhujangasana: This asana opens up the heart and lungs and gives them a good stretch.

How to do it:

1. Lie on your stomach; engage your back muscles in lifting your head and upper torso.

2. Align your elbows underneath your shoulders for support.

3. Open your chest and relax your shoulders away from your ears.

4. Look straight ahead and hold for one minute.

* Sukhasana: This heavy breathing seated position relieves yourself from stress, anxiety and exhaustion.

How to do it:

1. Sit erect, with the feet stretched out towards the front.

2. Now cross the legs in such a way that the knees are wide, shins are crossed, and each foot is placed under the knee. Knees must be bent, and legs should be tucked into the torso.

3. Feet must be relaxed, and the outer edges must rest on the floor while the inner edges must arch on the shins. Look down on your legs, must see a triangle formed by shins that are crossed and both the thighs.

4. Back must be balanced in such a way that the tailbone and the pubic bone are at equal distance from the floor.

5. Place the palms stacked up in your lap. Or you can also lay them on the knees palms up or palms down.

6. Elongate the tailbone, and firm up the shoulders. But make sure the lower back is not arched in such a way that it pokes the lower ribs forward.

* Marjari Asana: This involves deep breathing, which in turn expands the lungs and boosts blood circulation.

How to do it:

1. Begin with Adhomukhi Swanasana

2. Lean forward and place your knees down on your mat

3. Inhale, look up and relax

4. Inhale as you drop your knees

5. While navigating back, shift the body weight from the knees to palms and feet.

(Akshar is founder and course director of Bengaluru’s Akshar Yog. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at akshar@aksharyoga.com) (IANS)

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Two ancient Tombs discovered at Luxor, Egypt

Egypt's antiquated history now has two more tombs to boast of

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Two ancient tombs discovered at Luxor, Egypt
Two ancient tombs have been discovered at Luxor, Egypt, Image Source: VOA News

Egypt is extremely popular for its sanctuaries and tombs traversing diverse traditions of antiquated Egyptian history and now the tombs in Luxor adds one more feather to Egypt’s beauty. The popularity of the Egyptian pyramids dates back to the three massive tombs of the Fourth Dynasty. Tombs and pyramids have always appeared fascinating in movies and stories with some intriguing facts and discoveries.

Egypt’s latest discovery to boost tourism, Image Source: VOA News
  • Located on the east bank of the Nile River, Luxor is a city in Southern Egypt. Recently, two small ancient tombs have been discovered in this city dating back to some 3,500 years. Situated on the west bank of the river Nile, the tombs are the freshest disclosure in the city.
  • Since the beginning of 2017, the Antiquities Ministry has made a series of disclosures in a few areas crosswise over Egypt including Luxor city — including the tomb of a regal goldsmith, in a similar territory and having a place with a similar line, whose work was devoted to the old Egyptian God Amun.
  • According to the ministry, one of the tombs has a courtyard lined with mud-brick and stone walls containing a six-meter yard prompting four side chambers. They further said the artefacts found inside were mostly fragments of wooden coffins. The paintings and wall inscriptions further advocate the origin of the tombs to the era between the reigns of King Amenhotep II and King Thutmose IV, the two monarchs of the 18th dynasty.
  • The other tomb consists of five entrances prompting a rectangular corridor containing two burial shafts situated in the southern and northern sides of the tomb.
Archaeologist works on repairing masks discovered in the tombs, Image Source: Quartz

The ministry further stated, among the relics found inside are funerary cones, painted wooden funerary covers, dirt vessels, a gathering of approximately 450 statues and a mummy wrapped in material who was likely the best. A cartouche cut on the roof bears the name of King Thutmose I of the mid-eighteenth line.

Antiques Minister, Khaled al-Anani said, it is truly an exceptional day as the private tombs from the 18th dynasty are quite familiar but this is the first time to enter inside these tombs.

Al-Anani said the revelations are a piece of the service’s endeavours to advance Egypt’s essential tourism industry, somewhat determined by artefacts touring, that was hit hard by fanatic assaults and political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

Al-Anani then headed to an adjacent site where the renowned Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is situated to open out of the blue the sanctuary’s primary asylum known as the “Holy of Holies.”

This news is sure to evoke a range of excitement among people worldwide. It would be right to say that Egypt has excavated two more sites for onlookers to explore and experience!

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Mosque Attacked in Egypt: 235 People Killed by Islamic Terrorists

Islamic militants fired on people both inside and outside the Rawda mosque in the volatile northern Sinai Peninsula of Egypt

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Egyptian security officials, quoted by state-run media, say 235 people have been killed by suspected militants in an attack on a packed mosque Friday in the volatile northern Sinai Peninsula.

Frightened residents fled the center of the town of Bir al Abed, after Islamic militants fired on people both inside and outside the Rawda mosque. Scores of bodies were strewn across the mosque’s carpeted floor.

A man claiming to have been inside the mosque during the attack told Arab media that militants in four-wheel drive vehicles opened fire inside the house of worship following an explosion.

Eyewitnesses also say the militants fired on ambulances as emergency personnel tried to evacuate the wounded to hospitals in nearby Arish. Egyptian media reported that several government targets also were attacked inside the town.

In Egypt, a Mosque attacked.
Egyptians gather outside the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometers west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, following a gun and bombing attack, on Nov. 24, 2017. VOA