Yoga – UPSC GS1

  • Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India.
  • The word yoga derives from Sanskrit which means to join or to unite, symbolizing union of body and consciousness.
  • Yoga if it is practiced by all on daily basis in the early morning has numerous health benefits.
  • The benefits of Yoga include increased muscle strength and tone, increased flexibility, improved respiration, energy and vitality.
  • It also helps to maintain balanced metabolism, reduces weight, improves cardio and circulatory health and improves athletic performance.
  • It was inscribed in the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity┬áby UNESCO in December 2016.
Should the practice of yoga be made compulsory for all school children and government employees in India? Substantiate. (200 Words)
Yoga literally means “addition” and it refers to the coming together of the physical, mental and spiritual parts of the body, and is thus believed to increase concentration, decrease bodily pains and provide mental peace to the humans.
The practice has ancient roots in India and is now popularly recognized in the entire world as an art of living. The United Nations General assembly, passing the India’s proposal, has declared summer solstice, June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
Yoga is a peaceful art and only those who really want to do it can perform it with peace. Making it mandatory will do no good. Rather it will diminish the sacred identity this art carries with it. The idea should definitely be promoted but forcing the people to perform it for 10 or 20 minutes will be just a waste of time for the reluctant people.
A WHO report says that Cardio-Vascular Diseases (CVD) will be the main reason for maximum number of deaths and disability by 2020 in India. Studies by University of Ohio proves that Yoga is very effective in treating cancer. Study by Lancet also shows the efficacy of Yoga for the overall health of an individual.
Regardless of these benefits, Muslim board recently declared Yoga as un-Islamic. But the declaration of June 21 as International Yoga Day by UN itself shows that Yoga is for all people and not specific to any religion. Also 47 of the countries which supported the resolution was Muslim countries.
There are some Hindu CHANT like “OMM” and Surya Namaskar present which is against Islam so Muslim will be reluctant to practice this and making compulsory may surface communal violence. People should be encouraged by propagating the benefits of practicing yoga and sure it will take time but by this we can change individual mind and can attract the masses including Muslim who were before reluctant. For ex- in Bangladesh, when the government decided to adopt family planning to control growth of population then Muslim raised its against Islam but government did not forced but it propagated the benefits of family planning and people slowly understood and for development of society the masses kicked out that religious belief and adopted family planning and government got success though it took time. And, this can be done in India too.
So in sum up, it will be inappropriate to make yoga compulsory so government by respecting Art 25 of constitution should modify her yoga policy means a shift from compulsory to encourage



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