By Rekha Rajvanshi
Fitness for mind and body
On the Easter long weekend, Sydneysiders focused on their health and wellbeing by attending Yoga Guru Ramdev’s Yoga Camp at the Whitlam Centre in Liverpool. “It was hard work inviting a high-profile person like Guru Ramdev to Australia and organizing camps in 3 major cities – Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne,” said Chirag Parikh, of Star Alliance. “Last year Ramdevji’s team came to Australia to see whether a young person like me was able to organize this big event, and being satisfied with what they saw, they approved this year’s program,” he added.
I attended the Yoga Camp in Sydney on the first and last day. The day started with Ramdev’s step-by-step mild yoga exercises and postures, followed by ‘Surya Namaskar’ and other ‘Aasanas’, where Baba Ramdev explained the benefits of these exercises. Meditation and ‘breathing exercises’ were also done under his supervision and guidance. The session started at 7am and finished by 10 am.
Over 500 people of all ages and background attended the event on all four days. It was an amazing experience to witness Baba Ramdev doing the most complicated Yogasanas with ease. He took people on a devotional journey through his songs, explaining the purpose of life and death. He also chanted mantras from Vedas and offered simplified explanations to those attending. Yoga lovers had a laugh at Baba’s sarcastic comments on modern day lifestyles and obesity. He talked about ‘action, reaction and inaction’, and emphasized the importance of yoga and meditation in our daily lives to minimize stress and tension.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet him in person to get answers to questions my friends and I were hoping to ask, due to his busy schedule and the lack of organization. However, the good news for the Sydneysiders is that Baba Ramdev will be setting up a Yoga Institute in Sydney soon, and he is planning to train local people who are devoted to yoga.
Yoga is an ancient science – good for the mind and for body fitness and Guru Ramdev has played an important role in making Patanjali Yoga popular and available to all by organizing large camps, not only in India, but also around the world. He has also founded the Patanjali group of Institutions.
Ramdev was born in Haryana in India to a modest family, and he began formally training in yoga as a child. He left his home at a young age and further studied yoga, scripture and Sanskrit, earning the title of ‘Aacharya’. He became popular when Aastha Channel decided to telecast his programs, and to enjoy a large following both in India and internationally.