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COVID recovery, mental well-being in focus at 5th AYTA Yoga conference in Singapore

The main conference of the fifth Asian Yoga Therapy Association concluded on Sunday evening in Singapore and brought together yoga practitioners, therapists, renowned doctors from across the world.

The main conference started with the welcome address by Manoj Thakur, Managing Director, Vyasa Yoga Singapore, followed by the lamp-lighting ceremony by Charlie Ng, General Manager, Civil Service Club, Singapore (left) and HE P. Kumaran, High Commissioner of India to Singapore (centre). Photo courtesy: AYTA
The main conference started with the welcome address by Manoj Thakur, Managing Director, Vyasa Yoga Singapore (right), followed by the lamp-lighting ceremony by Charlie Ng, General Manager, Civil Service Club, Singapore (left) and HE P. Kumaran, High Commissioner of India to Singapore (2nd from left). Photo courtesy: AYTA

Organised by Vyasa Yoga and Ayurveda, Singapore, Asian Yoga Therapy Association (AYTA), Vivekananda Health Global, Transitlounge and Singapore Tourism Board, the main objective of this global conference is to showcase different techniques of yoga, meditation and its relevance in the present pandemic scenario, and to spread awareness and guide the masses on how yoga can help in enhancing post-COVID recovery as complementary medical science. 

Richa Singh, technical manager, VYASA Singapore and Paresh Sharma hosted the event on Zoom. With the theme ‘Yoga and Well-Being: the Present Pandemic Scenario’, the interactive hybrid conference had over 600 participants from across 30 nations with another 40 attending it from the venue itself, considering the pandemic situation. 

The annual event is organised under three segments. The pre-conference started on September 19 and culminated on September 23, followed by the main conference on September 25 and 26 and finally the post-conference began today and will end on October 2. 

Around 70 speakers from various parts of the globe have delivered lectures including experts from India, USA, Australia, Italy, Indonesia, Korea, Romania, Sri Lanka, Japan, Brazil, Holland and many more in this comprehensive event. 

scientific sessions by experts in fields like clinical psychology, yoga, yoga therapy, rehabilitation and integrative medicine and so on were the major highlights
scientific sessions by experts in fields like clinical psychology, yoga, yoga therapy, rehabilitation and integrative medicine and so on were the major highlights. Photo Courtesy: AYTA

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter praising the event, and said that Yoga was an integral part of the nation’s culture and heritage.

“I am sure that this conference will serve to popularise Yoga in different parts of the world and inspire a larger number of people to embrace Yoga as a daily habit,” he added.

The main conference started with the welcome address by Manoj Thakur, Managing Director, Vyasa Yoga Singapore, followed by the lamp-lighting ceremony by Charlie Ng, General Manager, Civil Service Club, Singapore. Dr HR Nagendra, president, Indian Yoga Association, Dr Kazuo Keishin Kimura, president of AYTA, Japan and the chief guest HE P Kumaran, High Commissioner of India to Singapore also addressed the event. 

“The theme is very timely and relevant to contemporary conditions,” said HCI Kumaran in a video message. 

Photo courtesy: AYTA
Apart from lectures and sessions on yoga therapy techniques, the conference included Ganesh Vandhana and an Indian classical dance performance by Manasa Pavan, a Bharatanatyam expert, on the inaugural day. Photo courtesy: AYTA

In the main conference, scientific sessions by experts in fields like clinical psychology, yoga, yoga therapy, rehabilitation and integrative medicine and so on were the major highlights. Sessions like ‘Role of Yogic Lifestyle in Preventive Cardiology’, ‘ How Yoga Promotes faster recovery in Cardiac rehabilitation’ Homeostasis through Yoga, ‘Intermittent fasting and Genome health maintenance’, 'The science behind emotions’ helped boost the event’s profile. 

Manoj Thakur, Managing Director, Vyasa Yoga Singapore
Manoj Thakur, Managing Director, Vyasa Yoga Singapore. Photo courtesy: AYTA

In his address to the participants, Dr HR Nagendra, founder of S-VYASA University, Padma Shri awardee shared his insights on scientific advancements in the field of yoga combined with wisdom in modern science. 

Other highlights included Mary Tan, a top distributor and accountant in Singapore, releasing the conference souvenir book of the year followed by a live instant relaxation technique by Dr Shraddha from India.

Dr Indranil Basu Ray, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, USA and Dr Gautam Sharma, Director, CIMR, AIIMS, India spoke about the role of yogic lifestyle in preventing cardiac disorders and the core components of yoga and cardiac rehabilitation.

Photo courtesy: AYTA
Chief Guest HE P Kumaran, High Commissioner of India to Singapore also addressed the event. Photo courtesy: AYTA

The pre and post-lunch sessions on both days were ended by a Q&A round from the attendees answered by the experts. 

Dr Shirley Telles, Director, Patanjali Yoga Research Foundation, India, shared her expertise of breathing techniques to maintain homeostasis with yogic breathing, while Dr Prakash Hande, Associate Professor, NUS, Singapore explained the scientific aspects of intermittent fasting and genome health maintenance. 

Dr Akshay Anand, a Professor at Neuroscience Research Lab, India, talked about translating yogic knowledge into modern medical practice. The first day showcased the PAN India program led by VYASA in promoting the Yogic protocols for the well-being of the people. 

The second and final day of the main conference began with  Pranic Energisation Technique (PET) by Dr Kuldeep Kushwaha and ultimately went on to a session on spiritual health for mental stability. 

Dr Harshal Andhare, Singapore, presented the role of Yoga in augmenting post-COVID recovery. It was followed by a lecture on the efficacy of yoga therapy in epileptic patients by Dr TN Sathyaprabha, HOD, Neurophysiology, NIMHANS.

The event culminated with the closing summary by Abhishek Mehta, Director of AYTA, Singapore.
The event culminated with the closing summary led by Abhishek Mehta, Director of AYTA, Singapore. Photo courtesy: AYTA

Apart from lectures and sessions on yoga therapy techniques, the conference included Ganesh Vandhana and an Indian classical dance performance by Manasa Pavan, a Bharatanatyam expert, on the inaugural day. Another performance, a mix of yoga and Indian classical dance by sisters Akshara and Antara along with their mother Kavitha on the second day was lauded as well.

Two brothers, five-year-old volunteeer Shreyas Karpe and 10-year-old Shiv Karpe stole the show with their interest and practice in of Yoga and Meditation.

The event culminated with the closing summary by Abhishek Mehta, Director of AYTA, Singapore. Guest of honour Ramakrishna, Vice-chancellor, SVYASA University addressed and congratulated the entire AYTA community. 

Event summarized to media by Sungapore event MC and media coordinator, Shashikala Venkatappa, Yoga Instructor, Vyasa Singapore
Event summarised to the media by Singapore event MC and media coordinator, Shashikala Venkatappa, Yoga instructor, Vyasa Singapore. Photo courtesy: AYTA

AYTA was founded in 2015 along with VYASA and has been organising such conferences since 2016 at different destinations globally. The first conference was held in July 2016 in Shanghai, China, followed by the second in July 2017 in South Korea. It went on with the third conference in Japan in July 2018 and the fourth was held in Bali, Indonesia, in September 2019. 

Author
Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Associate Editor

Tushaar has extensive experience as a journalist and in founding two start-up newspapers. He has developed editorial models for both copy and content, and has written several articles, news reports on a wide range of topics. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College and earned a post-graduate diploma in TV Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai. He has worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. 

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