Yoga guru Ramdev to preach pranayam, ayurveda in Scotland


Baba Ramdevji

Thousands of devotees cutting across caste, colour, race, religion and geography will breathe in unison on a green little uninhabited isle off northern Scotland in the midst of the blue waters of the Firth of Clyde.
More than 5,000 people from across the world and Britain, comprising fitness addicts, doctors, scientists, spiritualists, devotees, businessmen, professionals, politicians and the religious clergy will assemble on Wee Cumbrae, christened "Peace Island", to take part in a mega "havan".
Ramdev is the founder of the Patanjali Yog Peeth in Hardwar.
The prayer ceremony led by him will be followed by a session of pranayam, an ancient Indian breathing exercise, and yoga, as prescribed by the seer Patanjali in the Indian scriptures.
The havan will mark the beginning of Swami Ramdev's new initiative to carry the message of peace and good health on an international level, laying the foundation of a Patanjali Yoga retreat and a family health holiday resort on the island that traces its history to the 15th century, said S.K. Tijarawala, spokesperson for Swami Ramdev's Patanjali Yog Peeth.
"We will fly in 300 guests from India -- mostly scientists and eco-activists -- who will study the flora and fauna of the region. The island has 50 species of birds. We have named it Peace Island because it is quiet and untouched," Tijarawala said.    
Little Cumbrae will be the first complete Patanjali Yog and Ayurveda retreat outside India, sources said.  
Wee or Little Cumbrae, a rough and rocky island, is part of a cluster of islands that include the Great Cumbrae, Castle Isle, Broad Island and Trail Isle.
It is a 1.25 sq km in area and is approximately 0.9 miles at its widest point. It is a 10 minute boat ride from the Scottish mainland.  
"The main attraction of the island is a 12-room Victorian mansion and a lighthouse built by Thomas Smith in 1793. The lighthouse lies on a broad stretch of the Western shores of the Firth," Tijarawala said.
The island was purchased by two devotees of Swami Ramdev -- Sam and Sunita Poddar, who have been residing in Glasgow for the past 25 years -- for 2 million pounds to be promoted as a spiritual health destination. It was gifted to Swami Ramdev and Swami Balkrishna, the founders of the Patanjali Yog Peeth.

Sunita Poddar, the international coordinator and trustee of the UK Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust, said "it was her wish that the island had something to offer to everyone".

"Our aim is to make Little Cumbrae a worldwide destination with something for the whole family to enjoy. It could be experiencing the rejuvenating and healing powers of yoga, pranayam and ayurveda and exploring the glory of the island, walking on its nature trails and basking in the beauty of a pristine slice of the sea," Poddar said.                             
This is the first time the island has been thrown open to people.

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