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Yoga does not belong to any religion, says Rajnath Singh

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that “India is not hungry for any post” at any of the international platforms.

Addressing the valedictory session of the international conference on ‘Yoga for Holistic Health’ here, the home minister said India, being the birth place of Yoga, never wanted to become a world leader in propagating Yoga but wanted everyone in the world to live in good health and peace.

“India is not hungry for any post. India has always practiced ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which says the world is one family,” he said.

Indian sages and saints always looked beyond welfare of the countrymen. They always propagated the idea that the entire world was one family and worked for the welfare of all.

Talking about India and the world observing International Day of Yoga on Sunday, the minister expressed happiness saying that the entire world was in a festive mood.

“There was a festive mood not only in India but all over the world. The entire world has practised Yoga, which doesn’t belong to one religion or caste,” he said, adding that the entire credit for making International Yoga Day a reality goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rajnath Singh also observed that Yoga does not separate people from each other as it does not belong to any particular religion.

“There are people who relate it to a particular religion but it is not the case… on International Day of Yoga even Islamic countries participated in functions to observe the day,” Rajnath Singh said.

On the occasion, the minister also launched a scheme for voluntary certification of Yoga professionals, recognising that Quality Council of India (QCI) has expertise in developing such quality framework based on international best practices.

Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yasso Naik, and AYUSH Secretary Nilanjan Sanyal were among those who attended the programme.

 

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New Study Shows Link Between Meditation And Greater Focus

Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size.

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Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health.

Pranayamic breathing – an important part of yoga and meditation – has a unique ability to strengthen our focus and a new study by Trinity College Dublin has unlocked its secret. The researchers note that pranayamic breathing affects the levels of a natural chemical in the brain called noradrenaline. The latter is released when we are challenged, curious, focused, or emotionally excited. When present at the right levels, noradrenaline helps the brain grow new connections and helps us concentrate better on important tasks.

The old masters were on the right track

The researchers noted: “Practitioners of yoga have claimed for some 2,500 years, that respiration influences the mind. We looked for a neurophysiological link that could help explain these claims.” The researchers did so by measuring breathing, reaction time, and brain activity in a small area in the brainstem called the locus coeruleus, where noradrenaline is made. Noradrenaline is affected by stress; when we are worried or anxious we produce too much, and cannot concentrate. When we feel lazy, on the other hand, we produce too little and once again, focus is lost. One way to boost levels is through yoga; another method which can complement the latter is the consumption of medical grade focus supplements, which contain compounds such as octopamine (which has a similar effect to noradrenaline).

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Conversely, those with lower mindfulness ratings had greater activation of this part of the brain and also felt more pain. Pixabay

Pranayamic breathing aces the right balance

In the above study, researchers noted that brain activity in the part of the brain where noradrenaline is produced raises slightly when we inhale and drops slightly as we exhale. Thus, balance is achieved and we can focus on what we have set out to do. Pranayama not only boosts concentration but also produces “changes in arousal, attention, and emotional control that can be of great benefit to the meditator.”

What is Pranayamic breathing?

Pranayamic breathing involves controlling and extending breath, with a view to manipulating your vital energy, battling stress, and improving your mood. It is often used in meditation and yoga and interestingly, many yoga experts rank pranayama as even more important than asanas (the postures performed in a yoga session). In yogic tradition, breath is said to carry a person’s life force. Interestingly, scientific studies back this assertion to the extent that pranayamic breathing is able to boost brain function and change the actual structure of the brain. In recent studies, pranayamic breathing has been found to lower or stabilize blood pressure, lower stress, and reduce anxiety and depression.

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In order to comprehend better the Indian seers constructed the special “BOAT” – named Yoga/Meditation.

Implications of the study for aging

The researchers are excited that their findings could signal a way to prevent brain aging. They stated that if brains typically lose mass as we age, practices such as pranayamic breathing greatly reduce the rate of brain shrinkage, thus potentially helping keep dementia and related diseases at bay. Because keeping noradrenaline levels at an optimal level can help the brain grow new connections, meditation is an ideal activity to pursue.

Pranayamic breathing is just one way to improve brain health. Supplementation, a healthy diet, and daily exercise are key, with recent studies showing that aerobic exercise also increases brain size. To make the most of the effect of breathing on focus, consider joining a yoga class or learning the essence of pranayamic breathing online or through an app like Prana Breath or Universal Breathing.