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A fitness technique for the young and old alike

A.V. Ragunathan
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Cuddalore centre aims to pass on benefits to aspirants

A yoga class in progress in Cuddalore on Wednesday. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
A yoga class in progress in Cuddalore on Wednesday. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Keeping fit as a fiddle is the ultimate goal of all the health buffs and it of course has universal appeal, transcending age and gender barriers.

With obesity, cardiovascular problems and diabetes making headlines every day, attributing these malaises mainly to sedentary lifestyle and wayward food habits, “health consciousness” has now become the buzz word.

Burning out the calories in right measure is the panacea advocated by the apothecary but there are various means of doing so, of which some may not be suitable for the elderly and the chronically ill patients. However, according to M. Srinivasan, Professor, Faculty of Marine Sciences of Annamalai University, certain tried and tested methods of simple physical exercises or yoga postures, with a dash of meditation, are available that would suit the young and the aged limbs. It will take hardly half an hour to practice and yet prove highly beneficial in toning up the health, keeping the mental equipoise and remaining active throughout the waking hours.

Mr. Srinivasan told The Hindu that it was with hesitation and reservation that he got initiated into these techniques, propounded by the World Community Service Centre, but over a period it had become almost his obsession.

Now he has set up a Cuddalore centre to pass on the benefits to the aspirants who consist of students and highly placed academia. For N. Mangaiyarkarasi, former Controller of Examinations of Thiruvalluvar University and present Head, Department of Biotechnology, K.N.C. College for Women, the results flowing from regular practices were quite tangible and not imaginary.

The Centre was the first to bring women into its fold to learn the ropes about the “kaya kalpa” techniques, comprising simple physical exertions and breath control. Earlier, she weighed 80 kg and the obesity caused her many health problems and after she underwent the fibroid surgery she badly needed to get back the vigour.

She said that since a holistic approach was adopted, in which mind, body and psyche were fine-tuned, one could remain vibrant throughout the day. An individual who was at peace with himself/herself would transmit similar feelings among the fellow beings thereby eliminating all traces of envy, enmity, hatred and anger, thus paving the way for creating a productive and purposive society.

For A. Jayadeepa, a second year B.A. English Literature student, yoga and meditation sharpened her memory power and hence, it took little effort on her part to assimilate the lessons. Even though she was in the midst of preparing for the annual examinations, she would not skip two to three-hour yoga classes after which she felt rejuvenated and fully equipped to face the vicissitudes of life.

For S. Elumalai, headmaster of Melathipalayam School at Vallam in Ginjee block, age was not a bar in practising yoga. The benefits were quite immense but not quantifiable, he added.

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