Yoga can be the solution to mental health issues in NZ

(from The Migrant Times; the original story is here

- The message came out on the second International Day of Yoga celebrations in Christchurch

 Participants at the International Day of Yoga celebrations in Christchurch

On the occasion of the International Day of Yoga, which since last year has been celebrated all over the world on June 21, teachers and trainers made a case for using the ancient Indian discipline - based on an extremely subtle science which focusses on bringing harmony between mind and body – to tackle the growing number of mental health patents in New Zealand.

Tilak Raj, a doctorate student at the Lincoln University, who moved here early this year after teaching yoga at the Limkokwing University in Cyberjaya, Malaysia for five years, and is developing a Yoga program for improving sports performance in New Zealand, noted, “I have being involved with the Yoga movement for the last two decades. It works on the level of one's body, mind, emotion and energy. That's why, I feel Yoga can be one of the solutions for tackling the rising mental health cases in New Zealand. I urge both the Central Government as well as various city councils to work with agencies and practitioners, and develop community programmes on these lines.”


Another Yoga trainer David Hopgood, who did an interactive warm-up session with the gathering added, “Yoga is a process of creating a body and mind that are stepping-stones, not hurdles, to an exuberant and fulfilling life. Medical research in recent years has uncovered many physical and mental benefits that Yoga offers. I hope lots and lots of New Zealanders are exposed to these benefits and are able to incorporate Yoga in their daily life, much as I have done over the last 40 years.”

The afternoon also witnessed a pranayama session with Aurora Smith from the Art of Living Foundation of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, and interactive asana session with Clare Davenport from Iyengar Yoga.

A booklet titled “Common Yoga Protocol” issued by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Government of India, was also distributed to the participants.

“From Indian Cultural Group (ICG), our coordinator was Dr Aniket Puri, Intervention Cardiologist at the Christchurch Hospital, who tied-up with the Indian High Commission and various Yoga teachers in and around Christchurch to make this event possible,” concluded Sandeep Sachdeva, President of ICG.


While addressing the 69th session of UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014, the Indian PM urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga. Then on December 11, 2014, the 193 member Assembly approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries.