Yoga sessions conducted during Himalayan trek

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Yoga in the Himalayan Air

During a trek in the Himalayan range Yoga sessions were conducted as a trial from 3rd and 18th June 2007. The participants were university students from USA who were on a geographical study trip. The Yoga class was optional for the participants.

The journey started from Rishikesh moving on to Lohajung, Bedni, Aali, Pathar nachauniya, Lata, Gamshali, Lata Kharak, Saini Kharak and Haridwar.

A total of 14 sessions were conducted where the following concepts and techniques were covered:

  1. Physical exercises
  2. Breathing exercises
  3. Conscious Relaxation
  4. Meditation
  5. Yoga purification techniques aiming at improved immune system
  6. Importance of healthy life-style and practical tips for the same under
    • Aahar – diet related topics
    • Vihar – rest and recreation
    • Aachar – routines and discipline
    • Vichar – thoughts and attitudes

Participants felt that the physical exercises helped them get the required warm up before starting the trek everyday. Conscious relaxation was found to be rejuvenating. Breathing exercises helped build up better lung capacity that helps with long walks. Healthy meals (as suggested under Yogic Sattvik category) were provided to the participants to ensure good stamina and proper energy flow through various systems.

The sessions were conducted by Ms. Divya Naithani, a qualified Yoga trainer from Mumbai trained at the oldest organised centre for learning Yoga – The Yoga Institute, Mumbai. A student at The Yoga Institute since 2001, Divya has been conducting sessions since 2004 and has an experience of teaching a range of participants – children, youngsters, teacher, corporate executives, senior citizens, etc.

Yoga could be included as an important part of regular treks particularly to maximise the benefits of being in the land where Yogis initiated this entire art and science of healthy living. Pollution free environment is ideal for breathing exercises thereby increasing lung capacity. With no distractions of city life, meditation is easier to learn so that it can be practised once back to routine. For forthcoming Yoga treks, the following is suggested:

  • Lesser hours of walking per day (ideally not more than 4-5 hours of walking) so that more time may be devoted to meditation and other yogic techniques.
  • Morning and evening sessions to be conducted such that some techniques are covered in the mornings and long relaxations followed by meditation in evenings.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience, a dream come true for every Yoga student to be able to practice Yoga at its holy abode – the Himalayas.

— By Divya Naithani