Yoga Fest, a hit with Omanis, expats

MUSCAT: Art of Living, supported by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sports Affairs, conducted a yoga festival last weekend at Marah Land, Qurum. Around 1,200 people, both Omanis and expats evinced great interest in understanding not only how yoga could have a salutary effect on their body and mind, but also how it could help combat lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension, which are threatening to affect alarmingly large numbers of the country’s residents.

The yoga fest marked the beginning of a campaign called Yogathon which would seek to inculcate simple yoga in people’s daily routines to help them improve their health.

Khalid al Amri, who heads the Education Department at the DGHS, Ministry of Health, graced the programme to endorse the Ministry’s support of the discipline and sport of yoga being propagated as a lifestyle addition to positively impact the general health of the citizens, in a non-intrusive manner. The programme had demonstrations of various asanas (postures) and mudras (hand gestures) which would help in activating the endocrine, cardiovascular, and metabolic systems to help fight against diabetes, hypertension and obesity disorders. For example, some of the postures shown for diabetics were meant to specifically energise the pancreas, the organ responsible for insulin production which impacts the sugar levels in the blood. Art of Living’s yoga experts Hassan and Asma explained the techniques and benefits of these postures in both English and Arabic.

Special emphasis was laid to familiarise and inspire the audience to learn the ‘12 Pose Yoga Sequence’, a set of postures with coordinated breathing, which is known to have immense benefits on the entire body-mind complex. The audience was encouraged (and awarded prizes) to participate by making them compete in performing simple postures. Even those sitting on their chairs were engaged through participatory desk-top yoga.

The yoga fest was a perfect kick-off event of more than a month long campaign of Yogathon, which would bring the ‘12 pose yoga sequence’ to children and youth in schools and colleges, as well as adults in offices, institutions and residential complexes so that simple yoga, which could have profound benefits on body and mental health, is incorporated in people’s daily lives. The Yogathon campaign would have a finale, where people of all ages and nationalities (independent events for men and women) would experience the joy of performing yoga together, while some would compete in a 108 rounds challenge.

The Art of Living is inviting those who would like to have the 12 pose yoga sequence taught at their places of work, residence complexes, learning institutions to write to them expressing their interest at [email protected] AOL would also be willing to train volunteers in this technique who could then carry out this act of societal service on their own.


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