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Some participants at the International Yoga Day in Accra­ last Saturday
Some participants at the International Yoga Day in Accra­ last Saturday

Yoga is not a religion — Instructor

A Yoga Instructor, Mr Ankur Agarwal, has explained that yoga is neither a religion nor occultic.

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The instructor who works with the Art of Living Foundation said there was nothing religious about the practice because participants followed no holy book. "We don't sing, we don't praise; we don't follow a pastor, no church or mosque and we don't follow a holy book.

Every yoga posture is scientifically proven as beneficial to the body. The immunity becomes strong, digestion becomes better and we start getting young," he explained.

Mr Agarwal was speaking in an interview with The Mirror after a ceremony in Accra organised by the Indian High Commission of Ghana to mark International Yoga Day last Saturday.

He took the participants through how to maintain good mental health, be at peace with oneself and have a sound mind.

Yoga

Yoga is a practice that connects the body, breath and mind. It uses physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation to improve overall health. He noted that medical care in Ghana was not very developed and yoga serves as a preventative care that would teach Ghanaians how to do away with emotional stresses that affected health.

Event

The event marked a decade since the United Nations General Assembly designated June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, recognising yoga's significant role in human health and well-being, as well as its capacity to promote global harmony and peace.

Observation

The Mirror observed that participants, while sitting on yoga mats, were taken through neck bending and neck rotations, and a series of movements which involved shoulders, trunks and knees

At the event, the India High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Manish Gupta, followed instructors to connect body, breath and mind to meditate for physical well-being.

Addressing the audience the Osu Castle's Garden, Mr Gupta entreated Ghanaians to take yoga practice as a daily exercise to ensure good health and for the betterment of the country.

“Yoga is more than just an exercise for good health and mental soundness. It embodies the spiritual and physical aspect of humanity that connects and binds individuals together in harmony for the common good of society,” he said.

He revealed that the day was also observed in the Volta, Ashanti and some parts of the Northern Regions.

Kitchen stool

Highlighting the benefits of yoga to the human body at the Korpha Yoga Studio in Accra last Saturday, a Ghanaian yoga instructor, Korpha, told The Mirror in an interview that the Kitchen stool was very good at supporting posture when some yoga techniques are employed.

She encouraged Ghanaians to embrace yoga techniques with the use of kitchen stools to save them from waist and back pains. She noted that though the kitchen stool was very common in homes, many people were not using them properly.

"And because they are not sitting properly on the kitchen stool, it is giving some users back and waist pains. But the good thing is that you can use that same stool with some intermittent yoga stretches to correct the pain.

 I teach that here in my new studio. I have taught some Madina market women because they sit on the stool for a long time and they are always grateful," she added.

Carpenters

However, some carpenters on the Spintex-Coca Cola roundabout on Accra , who spoke to The Mirror last Tuesday expressed concerns about the low patronage of the kitchen stool.

According to them, the manufacturing of the kitchen stool was time-consuming, didn't generate much income and people were not buying, hence they had to stop its production, unless "it is ordered by a client".

The low patronage, they noted, was also a result of the influx of plastic chairs, which most patrons said was very affordable as compared to the kitchen stool that sells between GH¢ 60 and GH¢100.

A carpenter, Oduro Mante, with 14 years of experience, said, "l made a lot of kitchen stools for sale but I didn't sell a single one in six months. No one was buying so l eventually packed them and gave them away to a church. I don't make them anymore".

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Another carpenter, Manas, said "the wood is expensive. If you buy one box of wood, you can make three pieces of kitchen stools but with very little profits". These carpenters however agreed that the kitchen stool was a versatile piece for the home and served as additional furniture for guests.

Writer’s email address: [email protected]

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