Surat, Feb 24 : Youths from Jammu and Kashmir participate in an international yoga competition in Surat. The four- day competition started on Thursday.
The participants from Kashmir were excited to be a part of this competition and said that the ancient form of science was not very popular in the valley owing to militancy and terrorism. But off late, students are taking to the ancient Indian form of meditation, which is a blend of mental and physical exercises.
Zarana Basi, a young girl from Kashmir said that she has benefited greatly from Yoga.
"There was a time when I used to complain a lot about pain in my legs. Yoga has helped me overcome this problem. Today, my brother and parents also do yoga," said Zarana.
The participants said that yoga is not popular in the valley owing to religious barriers and customary requirement of chanting the sacred Hindu syllable 'om' while doing yoga 'asanas,' is not acceptable by the residents in the Muslim dominated State.
But the coach of the Jammu and Kashmir team, Azaad Ahmad said he is determined to teach yoga and spread the discipline in the valley despite religious barriers.
He has modified the exercises to suit the residents in the region by substituting 'om' with 'Allah'.
"What we did is, we modified the exercises to suit the people. We replaced the 'Om' in the exercises with 'Allah'. Today, children in the valley have taken to yoga and even adults are shedding their inhibitions," said Ahmad.
Over 170 participants from across the globe are taking part in the 'World Yoga Competition' that is taking place in Surat. The competition saw participants from United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Taiwan, Slovakia, Mauritius and Nepal.
But what turned out to be a hit among the audience was the under-15 competition wherein children from all over the country participated in the event.
Participants, mostly between the age group of 10 to 15 years, competed by displaying their flexibility through performing yoga postures and exercises.
Yoga is 5,000-year-old Indian discipline of exercise, diet and meditation involves a perfect blend of mental and physical exercises. An hour of meditation on regular basis greatly helps to ease out and regain lost of energy.
Apart from helping one shed weight, yoga has also been known to benefit one in various aliments including controlling blood pressure, arthritis, regulating blood sugar and even curing heart ailments.
The art form is being practised in the country for thousands of years, but the Government is now concerned that people are turning a facet of Indian culture into a major money-spinner.