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Tirumalai Krishnamacharya: India’s First modern Yoga Guru was also a Scholar and Healer

He is responsible for the preaching of yoga in today’s times

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Yoga pose by Krishnmacharya source-http://krishanamcharysaoriginalashtanga.blogspot.in/
  • Tirumalai’s lineage has been traced back to Nammazhwar, one of the greatest of Vaishnavite saints
  • In his lifetime of 101 years, he trained BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi and Pattabhi Jois
  • He remains an authoritative reference point for anyone interested in fields such as yoga and philosophy

India has gifted the world with the power of Yoga. Now, it has become so popular due to the benefits attached to it that people are bending and stretching all over the world and mats are rolling out everywhere. But, not many are aware of the man who made Yoga popular in India. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, the man who was a Scholar and Ayurvedic healer but most importantly, he was India’s first modern Yoga Guru.

Born on November 18, 1888, in Muchukundapura, the Chitradurga District of Karnataka to Tirumalai Srinivasa Tatachary (his father) and Ranganayakamma (his mother) who were devout Shri Vaishnavas. What is more interesting that, his lineage has been traced to Nammazhwar, one of the greatest of Vaishnavite saints.

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At the age of six, Krishnamacharya had his sacred thread ceremony performed. He was then taught Vedas, Sanskrit grammar, the Amarakosha and other ancient texts. When he was 12 years old, he went to Parakala Mutt in Mysore where he gained his education at the Mysore Patasala.

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Image source: alchetron.com
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Image source: alchetron.com

As the legend goes, at the age of sixteen, he had a dream, Krishnamacharya travelled to the town of Alvar Tirunagari in Tamil Nadu. On his arrival in the town, he seemed to have slipped into a trance. In this trance, he was taught “Yoga Rahasya”, the famous treatise on yoga by three sages. After coming out of this trance, he was able to recite the treatise from memory alone.

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At eighteen years of age, Krishnamacharya went to Banaras. Under the guidance of Brahmasri Shiva Kumara Shastri, he learnt rare aspects of Sanskrit grammar. In Banaras, he continued his quest of gaining knowledge and learnt various branches of philosophy such as– Nyaya, Tarka, Mimamsa, Vaiseshika and so on.

Over the next decade, he learnt these systems exclusively in Banaras. He even went to areas of Bihar and Bengal to meet scholars and learned men and gain training in their guidance.

On the insistence of his one teacher, Krishnamacharya travelled to the Manasarovar in the Himalayas. There, he learnt Yoga, Yoga Sutras, therapy and Yoga practice from Shri Ramamohana Brahmachari. After seven years of training, he returned back to Banaras.

In 1926, Maharaja of Mysore, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar had come to the holy city for a visit. On gaining knowledge of young Krishnamacharya, the king invited him to teach him and his family yoga in Mysore.

He accepted the offer and shifted to Mysore. Krishnamacharya married and became the personal yoga trainer of the Maharaja. He taught many dignitaries, the elite and foreigners as well. The king started a yogashala in the Jaganmohan Palace. Krishnamacharya looked after its administration for nearly 2 decades.

Mysore Yogashala source- www.elevatedretreat.com
Mysore Yogashala. Image source- www.elevatedretreat.com

During the reign of Maharaja Nalwadi, Krishnamacharya wrote “Yoga Makaranda”, a two-volume encyclopaedia on yoga in 1934. All the principles of modern yoga can be traced back to these encyclopaedias.

However, after the death of Maharaja Nalwadi and due to political instability in the country owing to the fight for independence, the yogashala was closed. Krishnamacharya took up the post of a lecturer in Vivekananda College in Madras and spent the rest of his life there with his family.

In his lifetime of 101 years, he trained many students, including  BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi and Pattabhi Jois. He never taught the individual students in the same way. He believed that Yoga should be adapted to the individual, never the individual to Yoga.

Not much recognition has come his way. Still, he remains an authoritative reference point for anyone interested in fields such as yoga and philosophy. Krishnamacharya has left behind a legacy for all the future generations to follow.

-prepared by Devika Todi, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: devika_todi

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Here’s How Yoga Can Help Fight Menstrual Problems

Yoga helps with both physical and mental health thus having a positive impact on your hormonal health

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Yoga
Yoga asanas help fight menstrual problems to a great extent. Pixabay

Monthly menstrual cycle varies depending on the physical strength of your body. During periods, women face different issues like lack of energy, extreme pain, mood swings, fatigue, bloating, and irritability.

The menstrual cycle is exceptionally sensitive, if you are stressed or traveling; change in your eating pattern can change your menstrual cycle. The condition of menstrual cycle mirrors the condition of physical and psychological well-being. Periods are no reason to avoid physical activities, more so yoga, which helps with both physical and mental health and thus has a positive impact on your hormonal health.

On Menstrual Hygiene Day, Paramita Singh, Nutritionist cum Yoga Practitioner, suggests a few yoga asanas that are help fight menstrual problems. These health tips can go a long way.

Head to Knee Pose – Janu Sirsasana:

Extend your right leg and place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh. Centre your torso over the right leg and fold forward. Come back through baddha konasana to set up for the other side. Continuing to take it nice and easy, janu sirsasana – head to knee pose – stretches the hamstrings in a simple forward bend. It’s an easy stretch that allows you to focus on one leg at a time and gently extend and lengthen your hips and groin.

Yoga
Yoga techniques practiced throughout the month can help balance the hormones. Pixabay

Seated Straddle – Upavistha Konasana

Open both your legs wide into upavistha konasana – seated straddle. Again, a supported forward fold with a bolster or blankets is a great option. We’re concentrating on those hamstrings again, but are also stretching the inner thighs and lengthening the spine.

Seated Forward Bend – Paschimottanasana

Paschimottasana

Bring both legs outstretched for a forward bend. Lengthen the spine in a seated position before coming forward. Imagine the pelvis as a bowl that is tipping forward as you come down. The seated forward bend – paschimottanasana – goes deeper still in opening the hamstrings and calves. It also gives your back a nice stretch.

Supported Bridge Pose

Setubandhasana

Lie down on your back. Press into your feet to lift the hips slightly and slide a yoga block under them for support. To come out, press into the feet to lift the hips again and slide the block out.

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Many yoga techniques can be practiced throughout the month to help balance the hormones, the menstrual cycle and to prevent pre-menstrual syndrome, period pain, emotional disturbances and other associated symptoms of menstruation. (IANS)

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80% Cases of COVID-19 in India Exhibit Nil or Mild Symptoms: Health Minister

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that nearly 80% of COVID cases in India are asymptomatic

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Harsh-Vardhan Symptoms
Health MinisterHarsh Vardhan said that almost 80% COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. Wikimedia Commons

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said almost 80 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in India are asymptomatic or at best with very mild symptoms, according to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.

In an exclusive interview to IANS, the Health Minister said, “Even today, in almost 80 per cent of the cases of COVID-19, which are being reported in India, the patients tend to exhibit either nil or mild symptoms. These patients are mostly contacts of confirmed cases. Interestingly, had it not been for our contact tracing efforts, and if left to their own in isolation, these patients may not have even remembered or reported their infection.”

Harsh Vardhan, who has recently been elected the chief of WHO’s Executive Board, was answering a query on whether asymptomatic patients who are potential virus carriers and who can take the virus deeper into rural India are causing worry to the government.

He said, “I am aware about WHO’s mention of some laboratory-confirmed cases that are truly asymptomatic. It is equally true, that as on date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission.”

However, he added that recently, more symptoms like headache, muscle pain, pink eye, loss of smell, or loss of taste, intense chills, rigors and sore throat have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States. “It will require more studies before these symptoms are finally included in our list in India,” he quipped.

symptoms
Recently, more symptoms like headache have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms. Pixabay

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He added that the new symptoms were very subjective and vague which might go unnoticed, might not be remembered by the patient and, thus, might even go unreported. “Moreover, if for a moment we talk of testing such asymptotic patients, identification of all these asymptomatic cases will require repeated testing of 1.3 billion population which is a resource expensive exercise for any country and is neither possible nor recommended,” the Health Minister said.

He emphasized on priority-based and targeted testing and said that it will be helpful in detecting more cases of COVID-19 and curbing the disease. “With our efforts at sustained and quality assured scaling up of the testing facilities, I am sure, we shall be better placed for maximum case detection,” he concluded. (IANS)

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This Quarantine Centre is A Place To Delight: Filled with Music, Yoga and a Menu of choice

This COVID-care centre in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan offers music, meditation, aerobics along with the choicest of the menu for the people staying there!

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Quarantine centre
Rajasthan's quarantine centre has emerged as a role model by setting up new benchmarks. Pixabay

BY ARCHANA SHARMA                                                                                                  A COVID-care centre in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan has emerged as a role model by setting up new benchmarks as it offers music, meditation, aerobics along with the choicest of menu for the people staying here!

Called as Parda Chundawat Quarantine Centre, it has set example by creating a serene environment where people wake up listening to soothing music. Then, there are Yoga and meditation classes where they exercise to shoo off negativity from their mind.

In fact, the daily schedule of those admitted here is quite impressive. They wake up listening to melodious bhajans at 6 a.m. Soon after, there are two yoga classes — one for the people who love to do indoor exercise while the other for those who are interested to do yoga under open sky.

All guidelines of social distancing are followed by the people while performing yoga.

Soon after Yoga, they go for aerobics where they stretch their body rhythmically on different music beats. Thereafter, they get breakfast of their choice and are served lunch in the afternoon. As they take nap in afternoon, the evening time at 5 p.m. awaits for another interesting activity where they listen to their favourite songs of renowned singers including Kishore Kumar, Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar amongst others, while sitting together.

Qurantine centre
This COVID-care centre in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan has emerged as a role model. Pixabay

Special games and activities are available for kids which include spelling, synonyms, pronunciation, painting etc. Kids find this environment really engaging, says Sabhla sub divisional officer Manish Faujdar who is in charge of this centre.

Also, there are psychological experts who help in counselling. “People coming here are quite worried about their future life, their spouses and families. These counsellors help them connect to meditation with scientific facts which make them feel joyful and relieves them of their stress,” says Chhaya Choubisa, assistant director, Information and public relations, Dungarpur.

Faujdar says that when admitted, these people were quite aggrieved and angry. “We saw an unseen fear in their eyes and mind. Therefore, we introduced a few activities which can make them relieved from their stress, offering mental peace to them. We wanted to divert their attention and hence launched music therapy. We connected the music system to youTube where there were bhajans in morning, filmy songs in the evening and Aarti and patriotic songs later. Eventually, their anger vanished and they look joyful now with no stress or anger seen amongst them.”

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District collector Kanaram also visited this place and praised these innovations. (IANS)