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Today, on 8 September, the world celebrates International Literacy Day. As literacy is considered to be one of the significant aspects of human lives, therefore this day is given a lot of importance internationally.
At the same time, as it's the 21st century and competition has increased remarkably, therefore this day is celebrated to spread awareness and urge people to at least gain knowledge about basic literacy skills.
Interestingly, every year a theme is selected on this occasion, so this year, too, a theme was selected in accordance to the International Literacy Day.
As we know that the world has been struggling because of the Coronavirus pandemic, therefore this year the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced to celebrate the International Literacy Day under the theme: “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide".
The significance of this year's theme is that it will focus on exploring various kinds of opportunities to spread literacy related to technology which will eventually narrow down the digital divide.
It must be noted that it is very much important to celebrate International Literacy Day as it is a matter of dignity and human rights, and so this day was celebrated for the very first time on 8 September, 1967.
Therefore, on the special occasion of International Literary Day, we, the citizens of the world community must take a pledge to spread awareness regarding literacy and urge whomsoever we can to get literate.
Remember, getting literate would not only uplift one's lifestyle and standard, but also the world as a whole.
Keywords: International Literacy Day, Awareness, Literacy, World, Community, Learning
Yoga is a powerful practice that works on both the body and mind; that is why it helps in transforming the whole personality and not just the physical body. However, there’s a common misconception that yoga is all about complicated postures. That by doing a complicated backbend, or after achieving the full splits, we somehow become ‘better than we were before. It limits the concept of yoga to something that you only do on the mat. It assumes that if you can’t do extreme postures, you can’t ever be good at or practice yoga.
Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder, Yoganama shares few ways you can extend your yoga practice into your daily life.
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As we learned from Goldilocks, moderation is the approach of ‘neither too much nor too little. Moderation can be followed in all aspects of life, such as diet, speech, exercise, possessions, and everything else. The opposite of moderation would be either overindulgence which is harmful. Or completely denying ourselves to the extent of suppressing our needs which almost always backfires in the long run. Moderation keeps you away from extremes and therefore is a very sustainable strategy as it takes up very little energy.
You experience this in a yoga class when you hold postures for a more extended period. If you push yourself too much, you’ll come out of the pose before the time is up due to pain or extreme discomfort. Equally, if you are lazy while practicing, you won’t benefit from the time you’re spending on the mat. Apply the right amount of effort, and you have a rewarding yoga practice that leaves you feeling recharged and refreshed. And the ‘right effort’ can be different for everyone; that’s why everyone’s yoga practice will look different.
Mindfulness refers to present moment awareness. It is a very powerful and well-researched practice that can change the very structure of our brain. Mindfulness meditation makes us more rational, less impulsive, and even increases our grey matter. The good thing is mindfulness can be practiced anytime during the day and not just while you’re meditating. You can be mindful when you’re eating when you’re brushing your teeth when driving, and so on. All you have to do is become completely aware of the activity you’re doing by observing it in full detail.
If you’ve done a yoga class, you’ve undoubtedly experienced mindfulness. Yoga is a great mindfulness practice because all postures are done with breath awareness. Even in Sun Salutations, you follow a specific breathing pattern. Each movement or transition is accompanied by an instruction to either inhale, exhale or hold the breath. When you hold a difficult single-leg balance like Natrajasana, you automatically become more mindful that you would lose your balance without awareness. In this way, yoga trains you to become aware of what you’re doing with the help of the breath or the difficult nature of posture. It is a great skill to start applying in your everyday life — both in emotional moments or while doing banal tasks like washing dishes.
Try doing a single leg balance when very angry or emotional, and you’ll likely have some trouble. In extreme circumstances, our inner emotional balance gets disturbed, reflecting in our physical state. In yoga, you learn to bring your balance back by taking some deep breaths or doing some gentle kriyas to re-center the body and mind.
And you can employ the breath anytime during the day when you feel overwhelmed. It could be if you’re angry at your boss or had an argument with a colleague, have received a defective product, or are stuck in traffic! With Yoga, you’ve trained yourself in resetting your nervous system by using your breath. And that’s a skill that you can employ multiple times during the day to be stronger and more patient to deal with the stresses of modern life.
In fact, without this skill, you cannot sit in meditation because the mind would be highly distracted. That is why in yoga, you practice pranayama before meditation as the breath helps your thoughts settle down. After that, your meditation can be productive as you will have better focus and concentration.
With consistent and regular yoga practice, you learn the value of the right amount of effort that teaches you the concept of moderation. A new or challenging posture leads you to stay in the present moment and be more mindful. And by employing the breath, you learn to consciously relax and unwind even in stressful situations such as a challenging posture. In this way, you develop the mental stamina and fitness to navigate your everyday life. (IANS/KB)
(yogasan posture, yoga day, yoga poses, meditation, benefits of meditation)
A team of researchers has found that rich false memories of autobiographical events can be planted — and then reversed.
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, highlights techniques that can correct untrue recollections without damaging true memories.
According to Hartmut Blank from the University of Portsmouth, “believing, or even remembering something that never happened may have severe consequences”.
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In police interrogations or legal proceedings, for instance, it may lead to false confessions or false allegations, and it would be highly desirable, therefore, to reduce the risk of false memories in such settings.
“In this study, we made an important step in this direction by identifying interview techniques that can empower people to retract their false memories,” said Blank.
For the study, the researchers recruited 52 participants for a study on ‘childhood memories and with the help of parents, implanted two false-negative memories that definitely didn’t happen, but were plausible. For example, getting lost, running away, or being involved in a car accident.
Along with two true events, which had actually happened, participants were persuaded by their parents that all four events were part of their autobiographical memory.
The participants were then asked to recall each event in multiple interview sessions. By the third session, most believed the false events had happened, and — similar to previous research — about 40 percent had developed actual false memories of them.
The researchers then attempted to undo the false memories by using two strategies.
The first involved reminding participants that memories may not always be based on people’s own experience, but also on other sources such as a photograph or a family member’s narrative. They were then asked about the source of each of the four events.
The second strategy involved explaining to them that being asked to repeatedly recall something can elicit false memories. They were asked to revisit their event memories with this in mind.
The result showed that “by raising participants’ awareness of the possibility of false memories, urging them to critically reflect on their recollections and strengthening their trust in their own perspective, we were able to significantly reduce their false memories. Moreover, and importantly, this did not affect their ability to remember true events”. (IANS/KB)
Prioritizing period education and protection is the key to ensuring more and more girls continue to stay in school, says Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar. The actress has been actively participating in the nationwide movement #KeepGirlsInSchool campaign by Whisper, in collaboration with UNESCO. The campaign aims to help keep 90 lakh girls in school and was mobilized to raise awareness and impact young girls, reaching over 5.5 crore people.
Almost 10 lakh people supported Whisper’s petition to integrate a period and puberty education module in the school curriculum, which is currently being developed in partnership with UNESCO.
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Sharing her excitement on having a positive impact on girls’ future, Bhumi Pednekar said, “Having closely worked with Whisper and UNESCO for their #KeepGirlsInSchool movement, I have personally seen how confident young girls are once they understand periods and how to manage them. Being a part of this change and seeing them rediscover their confidence and zeal is quite overwhelming. It took me back to my adolescent years that were filled with dreams and ambition that education empowered me to achieve. Reaching over 5.5 crore people and helping keep 90 lakh girls in school to fulfill their dreams is extraordinary. Prioritizing period education and protection is the key to ensuring more and more girls continue to stay in school. It was inspirational to see how, together, we can help shape the foundational years of our future generations.”
Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka, said, “Managing menstruation with safety, dignity, and comfort is essential to ensure gender equality, good health, quality education, and related human rights. In order to achieve these goals, it is imperative that all children and young people have access to age-appropriate comprehensive puberty education and a supportive environment at home and in schools. UNESCO and Whisper are committed to working with the education sector, civil society, and other partners to ensure that everyone has access to puberty education and menstrual hygiene management resources. I am positive that the impact we have seen through the #KeepGirlsInSchool movement will only grow multifold in our partnership with Whisper.”
Chetna Soni, Category Leader — Feminine Care, P&G Indian sub-continent, on the success of the campaign said, “Economic emancipation of women starts with education. Whisper, being a force for female good, is committed to ensuring that all girls can confidently go to school even during their periods and continue pursuing their dreams. #KeepGirlsInSchool started as a campaign to drive awareness about the issue of girls dropping out of school at puberty, and stop girls from giving up on a life full of possibilities that education can unlock for them. It is heart-warming to see that it has transformed into a national movement for girl child education and empowerment.
We are a brand that puts purpose at the heart of its functioning and that has resonated with the citizens of India. Our aim is to enable this change at a grassroots level, which is why we are working with UNESCO to integrate our period education module as part of the school curriculum. We need to work together to change what periods represent to many — from shame to strength and pride; and we are proud to be leading this change.” (IANS/SP)