“There is World Toilet Day, but no World Yoga Day. We will write to the UN to recognise June 21 as World Yoga Day,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said speaking at International Yoga Summit held at the Art of Living Ashram on Monday.
He signed the petition at the valedictory function of the summit. A delegation from the Yoga Portuguese Confederation participated in the summit and sought the support of yoga gurus.
The idea to celebrate World Yoga Day originated 10 years ago. But this was the first time yoga gurus from India were endorsing it in large numbers, said Jagat Guru Amrta Suryananda Maha Raja, president of the confederation. “The day (June 21) is a non-human day and an auspicious one when the sun, moon and cosmos meet,” he said.
“Yoga for sex is meaningless. Yes, yoga does alleviate problems in the body and controls desire in the oversexed. But yoga for sex is merely good for marketing. It’s not true,” said yoga guru Baba Ramdev.
On yoga and mental health, he said: “Most people understand that achieving mental health is to become stress-free and drink alcohol. That isn’t so.” Professor Dr BN Gangadhar of Nimhans said there was evidence that depression could be treated through regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya.
“The effect produced by Sudarshan Kriya can be compared to those of anti-depressants. Long-term damage caused by depression too can be repaired with asanas,” he said. Schizophrenia, at an early stage, could be cured through yoga.
The levels of oxytocin in the brain increase with regular practice of yoga. Doctors have also found that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children can be treated through yoga. About 50 people avail the facilities at the Art of Living yoga centre.