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International Day of Yoga: Healing the mind and body with a yogic lifestyle

A rejuvenating break at a yoga and wellness retreat in Punjab
Last Updated : 21 June 2022, 08:25 IST
Last Updated : 21 June 2022, 08:25 IST

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The Union Ministry of Ayush has announced "Yoga for Humanity" as the theme for the International Day of Yoga 2022. For those who practice yoga and meditation regularly, the essence of a yogic lifestyle and philosophy goes far deeper than the annual extravaganza observed on June 21 annually.

To take a closer look at the evolution of yogic spiritualism in India and its impact on modern-day issues, we decided to embark upon an offbeat retreat in Hoshiarpur, Punjab.

On a sleepy summer afternoon, we arrived at the outskirts of Hoshiyarpur and checked in at the Divine Soul Yoga (DSY) retreat to explore the benefits of living an earnest lifestyle for three days. Along with the local participants who arrived from nearby cities, we were housed in the luxury cottages surrounded by a man-made forest of Poplar trees.

We could see miles of the manicured orange plantation, a massive air-conditioned hall and adjoining garden for yoga gatherings, and a café for simple satvik meals.

Restorative therapies and inner healing

Interestingly, a lot of young professionals and their families come for such sessions to learn about restorative therapies in the yoga boot camp, where you are expected to forget the outer world problems and focus on the inner self through Dhyan, fitness regimes, and diet moderation.

The first challenge begins when participants are asked to leave their phones behind, and forget the virtual world. Reduced screen time helps fix the sleep cycle and makes people connect to nature instantly.

Our first session started in the evening with an introduction to healing, energies, and the basis of chakras, followed by a session of yoga, meditation, laughter yoga, and devotional singing with expert therapists for each activity.

In the three-day wellness program, we attended intense sessions on various forms of yoga, like the Bliss meditation, Yoga Nidra, Pranayama, and Laughter therapy. We also tried experimenting with our inner minds and healing through crystals, affirmations, forgiveness therapy, and Chakra activation.

Call it the peer influence or dedication to the cause, we were able to push the boundaries for the wellness weekend and did manage to report post-bath at the 4 am Pranayam meditation on a chilly Sunday morning. Our reward was an immersive non-stop session of yoga, audio therapy, devotional singing, nature walk, and laughter therapy, which works wonderfully to rejuvenate the mind and body.

For a calmer you

For a non-yoga practitioner like myself, I was curious to see the results of my sincere attempts at a yogic lifestyle. The first lesson to remember here is patience and consistency. For a beginner, three days might be a small step, but it would lead to something significant if followed regularly.

During one of the therapy sessions, we met Dr Deepak Mittal, founder of the retreat and the programme mentor.

“People have seen a complete lifestyle transformation through our sessions," Dr Mittal told DH Online. "The modern working person who is stressed and over-burdened today can experience peace of mind, relaxation, increase in concentration, productivity, natural work-life balance, and stress-free living through yoga and meditation. It is also helpful for people with hypertension, thyroid, PCOD, diabetes, insomnia, back and joint pain.”

The Vedic alternative healing system is a bouquet of recuperative therapies, and there’s a science behind spiritualism. Not everyone has to head to the Himalayas for meditation or life transformation, but attending occasional or regular Yoga sessions combined with fitness regimes can surely help achieve a balance at a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level.

(The author is an independent journalist, free-thinker, and an avid traveller)

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Published 21 June 2022, 04:03 IST

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