FTV News, Cambridge, By Geetha Patil: On the cool Sunday morning, May 21, 2017, all the delegates with audiences enjoyed breakfast at the Harvard Elements café and gathered in the Gordon Hall to participate in the Yoga & Meditation Sessions. A young yoga instructor from the Harvard school lead the yoga session and all the participants enthusiastically participated in the yoga exercise and meditation. This was followed by the plenary session lead by Dr. David Frawley. Inauguration of the day’s deliberations was done by Honorable Shree. Shripad Yasso Naik, Chief Guest, Minister of State, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India. He thoughtfully raised the curtain for 2017 International Day of Yoga in USA.
Mr. Naik Ji said that Yoga is an invaluable tool that embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, and helps to maintain harmony between man and nature. It is a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not just exercise but a means to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating inner consciousness we can achieve our well being. Let us work towards adopting and honoring an International Yoga Day in our lives.
Dr. H R Nagendra, Chancellor, S-VYASA also said that practicing Yoga is the foundation stone to make scientific approach into the inner well-being of the human being. It’s a tremendous step for the people in the world. Yoga moved from being an ancient spiritual pursuit for those seeking enlightenment to the mainstream lifestyle of people from all cultures and backgrounds across the globe. Yoga and meditation have profound effects to calm the mind and establish the human values.
The guest speaker of this session, Ms. Hilary Garivaltis, Executive Director, National Ayurvedic Medical Association spoke on how long it took them to come to this level. They are making efforts to get the certifications to practice Ayurveda in the United States.
Keynote addresses were given by Dr. B.N. Gangadhar Director National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), India and Nikki Myers Founder Yoga of 12 Steps to Recovery Foundation. Dr Gangadhar is a professor of psychiatry also the program director at the Advanced Center for Yoga at NIMHANS. He spoke on one of his large scale research project where in they used yoga to treat the patient with schizophrenia. He said that future yoga research studies could lead to translational impact and also help to understand its mechanisms. He also said that he would like to integrate Ayurveda & Yoga with conventional model as a part of patient care system in India for psychiatric disorders. It is noteworthy that some of his clinical work has been recognized by the expert panel of National Institute of Healthy and Care Excellence (NICE) [UK] as “high quality” evidence for use of yoga in schizophrenia. More importantly, several research articles showed the critical evidence base on which the recent NICE guidelines has included yoga as a complementary treatment in schizophrenia for the first time in 2014.
Nikki Myers spoke on the significant roles played by yoga and meditation in the healthcare domain. She said that they are the very common psychiatric practices associated with Ayurveda. Physicians prescribe these two methods almost to all the patients. Yoga is effective not because of the exercises involved in it, in fact, it is influencing the mind and achieving mental stability and calmness. Yoga helps a person to