Gopalakrishna Delampady | Interview

‘We need more women yoga teachers and instructors’

Yoga should be taught in school from class 5 to class 9, says the exponent from Mangaluru

A yoga practitioner and teacher for over three decades, Gopalakrishna Delampady had earlier served as the senior health inspector in Mangaluru City Corporation before taking voluntary retirement in 2008. He has been teaching yoga to hundreds of people without commercial interest. Mr. Delampady is also a referee for national and international yoga competitions. The Department of AYUSH has been roping his services from the last five years to teach yoga during International Yoga Day celebration in Mangaluru. Mr. Delampady, who is also Dakshina Kannada Rajyotsava award winner, speaks on the dimensions of yoga.

Has the United Nation’s General Assembly declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2015 attracted more youth to yoga like how they get attracted to other fitness practices?

No. Not at the expected level. There is still lack of awareness among many youth on the total benefits of yoga. But in general, the number of people trying to learn yoga has increased after 2015.

Why the increase?

People are mainly seeking remedy to control various diseases and disorders. Such people are mainly suffering from back ache, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, migrane, and the like. But the number of people coming to learn yoga for its wider spiritual benefits and for the purpose described by its pioneer sage Patanjali is less. The sage had called yoga as a means to unite jeevatma (soul) with paramatma (the supreme being). Through yogic practices, our mind can be made still, quiet, and free from all distractions.

What yoga education lacks now?

Trained women practitioners to work as teachers and instructors. We need more such women to teach yoga to women and children.

In your opinion, at what level yoga education should be introduced?

I feel, yoga should be taught in school from class 5 to class 9. With this, when a student enters the college, he or she will have an idea on how to cope with the stress which nowadays begins from pre-university level, and how to maintain good health and manage lifestyle diseases and disorders in the busy competitive world later.

Why only yoga? Don’t you think other fitness practices will fit in there in the school level?

The stress on yoga is due to its yama and niyama practices which deal with moral, ethical, and societal guidelines. They serve as the basis to lead a dignified life. One who cannot practice yama and niyama cannot become a successful yoga practitioner. The breath control practices or pranayama and dhyana add to the total wellbeing.

What are you looking for yoga in Mangaluru?

A spacious and suitable venue to teach yoga. I call it a yoga school. If some donors are ready to spare it, I can teach yoga for free to more people. My initial yoga guru, Puttappa Joshi of Sullia, had taught me not to commercialise yoga teaching.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 9:55:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/we-need-more-women-yoga-teachers-and-instructors/article28079481.ece

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