Yoga as a way of life
Baba Ramdev, who found the Patanjali Group of Institutions, is best known for popularising Yoga among Indians through his mass Yoga camps. He found the Divya Yog Mandir Trust in 1995 and has taught Yoga in countries including Britain, the United States and Japan. In 2006, he was invited by Kofi Annan to deliver a lecture on poverty alleviation at a United Nations conference.
Talking about why Yoga has become a household name not only in India, but all across the globe, Baba Randev said, “Every form of Yoga has all the asanas such as pranayama, dhyana, kriyayein, etc. We emphasise on the science behind Yoga as jeevan ka jaan vigyan hai (the life of living world is science). We motivate people to learn and practice different postures, as Yoga, apart from keeping fit and fine, has immense potential to cure every disease, including the chronic ones.”
“Yoga, constituting of all the basic elements of life such as knowledge, emotions and action, has the power to cure all lifestyle-based diseases. If one practices anulom vilom pranayama for 15 minutes every day, it can lower high blood pressure, while kapalbhati pranayama has the power to cure thyroid. Following a 30-minute kapalbhati regime can cure hepatitis and colitis diseases.”
He further explained by giving some examples of how Yoga has helped in curing chronic diseases. “There are many such examples. We have witnessed that people suffering from third and fourth stage bone cancer, brain cancer and breast cancer have been cured just by performing anulom vilom for an hour. People are aware of the fact that Yoga makes their body and fit, but we stressed that Yoga has the power to change the whole life of a person. We promoted Yoga as a lifestyle, as a treatment for incurable diseases, for peace of mind and meditation. We connected Yoga to the development of IQ amongst children, concentration among women, elders, emphasised the fact that if you want to have all round mental, physical and economic development, Yoga is the only stop solution. We even encouraged women with infertility issues to do Yoga and have witnessed 100 per cent results. I’m very confident that the whole world will adopt Yoga in near future as it is the only way of achieving world peace, health, harmony and prosperity.”
While discussing Yoga poses for people who feel inclined to do Yoga, but cannot due to lack of time, Ramdev said, “Time can never be a constraint as even if you don’t have enough time there are some key Yoga postures that can be practised in just 10 minutes such as anulog vilom and kapalbharti for 3 minutes each and then three rounds of bhramari pranayama (the humming bee breathing exercise). These asanas can be performed even while travelling. If one can spare a little more time, then one can just do the surya namaskar for five times a day and lifestyle diseases will never touch you. It’s a fact that nobody in this world wants to be a rogi (ailing), neither does one want a stressful life or sleeping disorders. Yoga is the only remedy for all such ailments. It has so many benefits and people who are not doing Yoga are missing out on much as they are not able to foresee its benefits.
While addressing the last year’s International Yoga Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called upon Yoga gurus to explore the potential of Yoga in making it useful to combat diabetes. Talking about the steps taken in this direction, Ramdev said, “Yoga helps immensely when it comes to treating deadly diseases like diabetes. There are some asanas meant to control high sugar in blood like kapalbhati, mandukasana (frog pose), shashankasana (rabbit pose), Yoga mudrasana, vakrasana (half spinal twist pose) and gomukha asana (cow face pose). These postures help in stimulating pancreas. As of these asanas are not easy to follow, so in the event of not being able to do all of them, one can just do mandukasana along with kapalbharti which will give instant relief. Yoga has helped in controlling diabetes in billions of people and has shown results when it comes to weight loss in a similar number of followers.
It’s true that India is called as the diabetes capital of the world, which can be altered by encouraging people to follow Yoga. We also organise obesity camps across the country and its results are outstanding. As the number of cases of renal failure is the highest in the country, I don’t find any other way out to cure these life-threatening diseases apart from Yoga. I urge people to have faith in Yoga and include it in their daily schedules. It will cure chronic as well as seasonal diseases.”
Whenever something becomes popular among the masses, it gives birth to a market and the same, is happening with Yoga. Speaking on this topic Ramdev said, “According to our Indian traditions, when Yoga will scale the heights, udyoga (market) will automatically get a boost. Yoga helps one get in touch with their spiritual self and brings prosperity into lives. Without finance, no religion or civilisation can move forward as penury brings sorrow, illness and death.”
Patanjali as a brand is touching one milestone after the other. Attributing the brand’s success to people’s trust in the brand, Ramdev said, “We are not in competition with anybody. We are just working hard to provide swadeshi products to our Indian population. As our products are getting an overwhelming response from the consumers, we are now focusing on increasing the production of the huge range of available products. We have set a target to build up production capacity worth Rs 20,000 crore in the next two years and Rs 1 lakh crore for the next five years. Also, our prime focus is to maintain quality while keeping the price of our products reasonable.”
Patanjali has provided direct employment to about 1 lakh people and about 1 crore farmers are associated with it indirectly. “The target is to provide direct employment to 5 lakh and indirect opportunities to 5 crore farmers,” said Ramdev. “Right now we have made our presence known in four areas - natural beverages, natural food, natural cosmetics and natural homecare. The fifth and the newest addition is natural baby care products -Patanjali Shishu Cares, which will break the monopoly of Johnson & Johnson. We are also launching dairy products, textiles, etc. It has been allegedly stated that we are against multinational companies, which is not true as we are not against them, but we are in favour of swadeshi products and our objective is to promote indigenous items of daily use.”
He further added, “People are very smart. They know what to buy and who to buy it from. Every person has his own credibility and people know it very well. We are not in a profit-making business; we are aiming for jan-kalyan (social welfare). The profit made by Patanjali is meant for charity and it is being utilised through the Patanjali Research Foundation. You will be surprised to know that neither I nor Acharya Balkrishna have any bank account. Acharya ji is the unpaid CEO of Patanjali.
Praising Narendrta Modi for his demonetisation policy, Ramdev said, “It’s a historic and brave step taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the betterment of the Indian economy. If we get the support of the Reserve Bank of India, tax department and common people, it will become a huge success. We have to change our habits, which will take some time. The best thing is this that people are supporting this movement.”