Yoga is the ultimate science of being that has been tried and tested for over 16000 years now, its results being perfect and precise. This April, Bengal, abounding in natural and cultural wealth and being the cradle for the greatest poets, artists, dancers, intellectuals, freedom fighters and the ‘Bengali beauties’, set the stage for a gainful interaction on the science of yoga.
A panel discussion held at the Saturday Club, Kolkata on April 18th, 2013 with Cardio-surgeon Dr. Lalit Kapoor, Dr. Pritpal Singh, exercise consultant Ranadeep Moitra, Manipuri dancer Priti Patel and nutritionist Dr. Hena Nafis, saw World Renowned Yoga Guru Yogi Ashwini bring to fore the true essence of yoga, as a pure science, distinct from religion and spirituality (both of which are subject to personal belief and faith), how it encompasses within its ambit every aspect of modern living – from medicine, dance, drama, health, beauty, fitness, nature, culture and for those looking for more, the journey beyond.
For those who missed it, here are some snippets –
Dr. Lalit Kapoor – “People when sick should go to Doctors.”
Yogi Ashwini felt the same because, “Yoga is the final frontier. It is not curative, it is preventive and only to access energy beyond, one must access YOG.” The acceptance of the finality of the subject was evident by the statement which Dr. Kapoor made in an undertone, “I want to do and prescribe yog, but being a doctor, I cannot.”
Dr. Pritpal Singh recommended more strong cardiovascular exercise for better health.
Recent researches and Yoga say that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, “So when you do more hyperactive exercise, more energy is produced, simultaneously more toxins (free radicals) are produced and the cell dies faster and the new one born has a shorter telomere in the DNA, indicative of more hyperactive exercises that leads to faster ageing through cell mitosis,” explained Yogi Ashwini. We did some research and found it to be in lines with what the master had to say. To quote for the reader,
“Exhaustive maximal exercise induces free radical generation.” – (‘Are indices of free radical damage related to exercise intensity’ by Lovlin R, Cottle W, Pyke I, Kavanagh M, Belcastro AN, published in European Journal Of Applied Physiology And Occupational Physiology, 1987)
“We report a two-to-three-fold increase in free radical concentrations of muscle and liver following exercise to exhaustion.” (‘Free radicals and tissue damage produced by exercise’ by Kelvin J.A. Davies, Alexandre T. Quintanilha, George A. Brooks, Lester Packer, published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 1982)
“This review reveals that there might be contrasting effects of resting and non-resting energy expenditure on aging, with increases in the former being protective and increases in the latter being harmful.” (‘Living fast, dying when? The link between aging and energetics’ by Speakman JR, Selman C, McLaren JS, Harper EJ. Published in Journal of Nutrition, 2002)
Ranadeep Moitra emphasized upon slow and steady postures and non-cardiovascular exercises. Yogi Ashwini agreed, “Yoga has said the same thing 5000 years back”, a concurrence of what modern science and Yoga say.
Priti Patel compared Yoga with dance, “Dance brings the same tranquility, peace, stability and focus as basic yoga.” Yogi Ashwini was of similar opinion and added, “Advanced yoga takes you beyond.”
Dr. Hena Nafis shot a question at
the master, “Are you teaching spirituality?”
Yogi Ashwini does not teach spirituality and feels people of different faiths have their own interpretation of spirituality, which links it to religion. “I teach only the science of YOG, which has been in existence since the beginning of creation, not to be confused with religion and spirituality, which are one’s personal affairs, somehow,” replied the yogi. The lady disagreed and tried to probe further but Yogiji cut short the discussion as he did not want to discuss religion, specifically seeing that the lady was wearing green and trying to incite a religious debate in the garb of spirituality. Interpretation of spirituality is as per one’s own religion, the master’s point was proved when Ms. Nafis asked “What do you recommend?” and Yogiji replied “Dhyan Foundation.”…she gave
a smirk…the say-it-all smirk proved that spirituality and religion is the same thing.