Yoga with a difference leaves all stunned

Inspiring:The differently-abled at Connaught Place in New Delhi on Tuesday.— Photos: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

Performing a chakrasana or the wheel pose, with the back bent backwards and the hands touching the ground, is no easy task. But artistes of the Ability Unlimited Foundation made it look easy when they demonstrated their skills on the second International Day of Yoga here on Tuesday.

Not only did they hold the posture for several minutes, but they did it while seated on wheelchairs.

Balancing on wheelchairs

Thirteen differently-abled artistes — four hearing impaired women and nine wheelchair-using young men — demonstrated a range of yoga poses at the programme, organised by the Union AYUSH Ministry and the New Delhi Municipal Council at Connaught Place.

Balancing on their wheelchairs as they swivelled around, the artistes had thousands of participants at the event enthralled.

For 25-year-old Ashiq Usman, who wears a calliper on his right leg that was affected by polio, practising yoga for 10 years has helped increase flexibility and mobility.

“Before I started learning yoga, I couldn’t move much. But now my muscles have become freer. When we perform chakrasana while dipping our wheelchairs back, our backbone gets strengthened,” said Mr. Usman, who can hold the difficult posture for 30 minutes and is aiming to stretch that to an hour.

A form of therapy

Foundation artistic director Syed Sallauddin Pasha said yoga was a form of therapy for the differently-abled students.

“It has made them more confident and more independent. Some of the most difficult yoga poses, chakrasana , sirsasana [headstand] and mayurasana [peacock pose] are performed with wheelchairs attached to the body. It inspires people to take up yoga,” said Mr. Pasha.

Meanwhile, students from the Jnanasindhu School for the Blind in Karnataka also performed during the programme. Aged four to 15 years, the children were taught various yoga poses through the “touch and feel method”, said their teacher Shivanand N. Kelur.

“Once we teach the children how each pose is done by what we call the ‘touch and feel method,’ they pick it up quickly. Not only has yoga helped them physically, it has also increased their concentration,” added Mr. Kelur.

For 15-year-old Vidyashri Todasageri, who has been learning yoga for seven years at the school, it’s simply a good time. “It is fun,” the teenager said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 6:14:26 AM |

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