China introduces Yoga in 100 varsities to help fight stress and depression among students

'Say no depression with Yoga' was launched yesterday at the university campus in which large number of students took part.

Zee Media Bureau

Beijing: Yoga is an ancient Indian spiritual and physical discipline, which uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation to boost health.

Known for its effectiveness, Yoga is now being embraced as a lifestyle across the globe. The latest to adopt the practice is China, who has launched a campaign to introduce Yoga in 100 universities across the country, the growing problem of depression and stress among students being the primary reason.

The campaign '100 days in 100 universities' to fight depression was launched by Yogi Yoga, China's popular yoga institute run by former Chinese fashion journalist and her Indian husband and yoga teacher in association with Peking University.

'Say no depression with Yoga' was launched yesterday at the university campus in which large number of students took part.

It is a 100 day campaign in 100 universities to teach 'Pranayama', 'Meditation' and special yoga 'Asanas', founder and CEO of Yogi Yoga, Yin Yan told PTI as her husband Mohan Singh Bandari kicked off the campaign with specially designed yoga postures to counter depression at ceremony at the University attended by its officials.

Yin Yan, a former editor of the Chinese language edition of the ELLE international fashion magazine, along with Mohan whom she married in Rishikesh established Yoga Yogi in 2003 converting the Indian spiritual and art form into a commercial success.

The centre, has branches all over China, has over 20,000 students with an annual turnover of over $10 million. "Depression has become a major problem in China as it currently has over 90 million people suffering from it," Yin Yan said.

The Chinese government, through the ministry of sports, identified Yoga to be practiced in universities to help students overcome depression and stress associated with competitive education system, she said. "We will implement this programme in the next 100 days in 100 universities," she said, adding Yoga classes will be held once in a week starting from Peking University.

The Yoga college, in assistance with India, was established in the Yunnan Minzu (Nationalities) University. According to official media reports, it has become popular with participation of over 3,000 people taking part in free yoga sessions offered by the college. Yogi Yoga has also established a Yoga research centre in association with Peking University this year.

(With PTI inputs)

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