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Every Country in the World to participate in the International Yoga Day event 2017: Minister

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Yoga. Wikimedia
  • Shripad Naik has ruled out the possibility of a state holiday to celebrate International Yoga Day
  • The situation is that 100 per cent countries in the world this year will do Yoga
  • The program was held in 199 countries last year

Panaji, June 5, 2017: Every country in the world will participate in the International Yoga Day event, scheduled to be held on June 21, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Naik said there is no compulsion on schools and other institutions to hold Yoga Day events and that no holiday has been declared as the event is an early morning activity.

“The situation is that 100 per cent countries in the world this year will do Yoga,” Naik told reporters.

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“The programme was held in 199 countries last year. This year, more countries will be added to the list and programmes will be held through our embassies and missions,” the North Goa Lok Sabha member said.

The Minister also said the main International Yoga Day event would be held in Lucknow and attended by over 51,000 yoga enthusiasts, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

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“Over 51,000 people will be participating. As there is paucity of space, screens will be put up in eight to nine parks nearby and simultaneously Yoga will be conducted,” Naik said.

“We have requested to the state governments to organise a big programme. NGOs, schools and colleges also have been asked to hold their own events,” he said, adding that central ministers would be attending the major Yoga-related programmes in every state.

“There is no compulsion (to hold Yoga Day in schools). We are encouraging yoga for the betterment of one and all,” he said in response to a question.

Naik ruled out the possibility of a state holiday to celebrate International Yoga Day.

“We have not declared a holiday as yoga is a morning activity. From 6 a.m. to 7.30 a.m., after the activity is finished, they can go to work. You can opt to take leave on your own account. No special holiday has been announced,” Naik said. (IANS)

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Yoga may Help Decrease Depressive Symptoms: Study

Doing yoga may reduce depressive symptoms

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Yoga Depressive
Now researchers have found doing yoga is linked to decreased depressive symptoms. Pixabay

The benefits of yoga have been widely documented by scientific health research and now researchers have found doing yoga is linked to decreased depressive symptoms.

The study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, proposes that yoga can increase levels of Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the short-term and completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms.

GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has been associated with decreased depressive symptoms.

“The findings suggest that the associated increase in GABA levels after a yoga session are ‘time-limited’ similar to that of pharmacologic treatments such that completing one session of yoga per week may maintain elevated levels of GABA,” said study researcher Chris Streeter from Boston University in the US.

Yoga Depressive
Completing one yoga class per week may maintain elevated GABA that could mitigate depressive symptoms. Pixabay

Depression is a highly prevalent and disabling disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects approximately 16 million people in the US. every year and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Given its high morbidity, extensive research has been done on effective treatment modalities for depression. In a study, a group of 30 clinically depressed patients were randomly divided into two groups.

Both groups engaged in lyengar yoga and coherent breathing with the only difference being the number of 90 minute yoga session and home sessions in which each group participated. Over three months, the high-dose group (HDG) was assigned three sessions per week while the low-intensity group (LIG) was assigned two sessions per week.

Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their brain before the first yoga session and after the last yoga session. They also completed a clinical depression scale to monitor their symptoms. Results showed that both groups had improvement in depressive symptoms after three months, the researchers said.

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MRI analysis found that GABA levels after three months of yoga were elevated (as compared to prior to starting yoga) for approximately four days after the last yoga session but the increase was no longer observed after approximately eight days.

“A unique strength of this study is that pairing the yoga intervention with brain imaging provides important neurobiological insight as to the ‘how’ yoga may help to alleviate depression and anxiety,” said study co-author Marisa Silveri. (IANS)