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Conference on 'Yoga for Space' Marks International Day of Yoga 2024 in Bengaluru

The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) and Svyasa University held a "Yoga for Space" conference on International Day of Yoga 2024, focusing on yoga's benefits for society and astronauts.

KJ Staff
Conference on "Yoga for Space" Marks International Day of Yoga 2024 (Photo Source: @airnewsalerts/X)
Conference on "Yoga for Space" Marks International Day of Yoga 2024 (Photo Source: @airnewsalerts/X)

The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) and Svyasa, Deemed to be University, jointly organized a landmark conference titled "Yoga for Space" at S-Vyasa University in Bengaluru. This event was held in observance of International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2024, with the theme "Yoga for Self & Society." The conference aimed to unite experts from diverse fields, including space exploration, to explore yoga's potential benefits for society and astronauts.

The conference began with a traditional prayer, followed by a detailed outline of IDY 2024 activities and challenges, organized by the Ministry of AYUSH. These included a "Yoga with Family" global video contest, YogaTech Challenges for innovative yoga ideas by Indian startups, Yoga Quiz, and Yoga Jingles. These initiatives aim to raise societal awareness and promote vigorous yoga practice, echoing the IDY 2024 theme that a healthy individual contributes to a healthy society.

Prominent keynote speakers from various prestigious Indian institutions delivered addresses at the conference. Representatives from the Human Space Flight Centre, ISRO, IIT Delhi, and the Institute for Aerospace Medicine were present. Dr. Manjunath NK, Vice Chancellor of Svyasa University, welcomed the speakers and highlighted yoga-related activities for IDY 2024. He emphasized yoga's importance in fostering a healthy society, referencing classic literature such as "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam." Dr. Manjunath also recounted the journey of S-Vyasa's founder, Dr. H.R. Nagendra, from NASA to establishing S-Vyasa.

Dr. Raghavendra Rao, Director of CCRYN, Delhi, spoke on the inclusivity and diversity of the IDY journey. He showcased yoga practices in extreme conditions—on land, in the ocean, and spanning a day from Japan to California, culminating in the exploration of yoga in space at this conference.

Dr. B.R. Ramakrishnan, Pro Chancellor of S-Vyasa University, welcomed attendees, stressing the conference's aim to blend ancient wisdom with modern space science. He quoted "Gyanam Vigyanam Sahitam," underscoring the convergence of Eastern and Western best practices through yoga.

The inaugural session concluded with a virtual address by Dr. Kashinath Samagandi, Director of MDNIY, New Delhi, who highlighted the benefits of a yogic lifestyle in helping astronauts overcome specific health challenges.

The scientific session began with Dr. C Geethaikrishnan, Deputy Director (SRQ) of the Human Space Flight Center, ISRO, discussing "Gaganyaan - Mission and Crew Safety" under the chairmanship of Dr. Satyaprabha TN, Head of Neurophysiology at NIMHANS, Bengaluru. Dr. Geethaikrishnan provided insights into ISRO's evolution and the process of crafting and launching a spaceship, focusing on the Gaganyaan Mission.

Following this, Dr. KK Deepak, Former Head of Physiology at AIIMS Delhi and current IIT Delhi faculty, delivered an engaging talk on "Yoga for Astronauts: How, Why and What?" He shared his experiences in space research and the role of yoga in space simulations.

In the post-lunch session, Dr. Biswajit Sinha from the Department of Physiology at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bengaluru, discussed "Beyond Earth: Understanding Microgravity's Influence on Physiology and Earth-Based Simulations." He explained the physiological impacts of the space environment on the human body. Lt. Col. (Dr.) Saveena George from the same department presented on "Exploring the Effects of Microgravity on the Neurovestibular System," addressing issues like neurovestibular imbalance that affect astronauts' posture, orientation, and visual perception.

Dr. Apar Soaji, Principal of TSYNM, S-Vyasa, led a session on the "Physiological Effects of Yoga," emphasizing the importance of self-care practices that enhance overall well-being during space missions. The conference concluded with insights from Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma's yoga teacher, N.V. Raghuram, Founder of Yoga Bharati. He shared experiences highlighting how yoga made astronauts like Rakesh Sharma fearless and adaptable.

The valedictory function featured esteemed Dr. Nagarathna, and the vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Vadairaja HS, Senior Research Officer of CCRYN. The conference anticipates fruitful research outcomes and collaborative efforts in integrating yoga with space science.

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