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Seeing its benefits, AIIMS promotes Yoga door-to-door

Prof Shashi Kant Das, Prof Randeep Guleria and Prof Nikhil Tandon releasing the Yoga manual
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Rohit Shishodia
To teach people Yoga for prevention of lifestyle diseases, the Therapists at Delhi-AIIMS will now go door to door as part of a significant pilot project in the national capital Delhi.

A Community Based Structured Yoga Program, a pilot project, was launched at AIIMS’ Dakshinpuri Urban Health Centre (UHC) in Delhi on December 13, 2018.

The program is the brain child of Prof. Shashi Kant Das and Prof Puneet Mishra from the Department of Community Medicine, Delhi-AIIMS. This program has been funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Under this program, people are taught about benefits of Yoga and they are trained so that they can continue the practice at home and make it a part of their life.

The Yoga therapists of Delhi-AIIMS will go to each home of the Dakshinpuri area to educate about Yoga and will also take feedback from people if the practice has helped in reduction of impact of the of the disease or not.

Not only education, but blood samples of patients coming to the UHC will also be taken to ascertain the impact of practicing Yoga on their health.  A patient who came to the centre told DTMT that Yoga has helped control his blood pressure.

The doctors said that Yoga helps in reducing stress and anxiety which are known risk factors for hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes. The doctors also launched a Yoga manual.

Prof Randeep Guleria, Director, Delhi-AIIMS, said that many lifestyle diseases can be effectively controlled by doing Yoga. This is recognized worldwide and seen scientifically. Yoga increases the level of oxygen in lungs and strengths muscles needed for breathing. This has been validated by research conducted in AIIMS-Delhi.

Prof Guleria pointed out that this community project is very important because Yoga services are being provided at the doorstep. This will help save money of patients who come to AIIMS for Yoga. 50% of patients leave Yoga classes midway just because of the daily commute to the hospital and expenses.

Dr Guleria emphasized that what is more important about Yoga is its consistency. Many people start Yoga. They continue it for two or three months but they leave it due to various reasons. It becomes quite difficult to restart Yoga activities. It should become part of people’s life.

Prof Nikhil Tandon, HOD, Department of Endocrinology, Delhi-AIIMS, said: “Yoga should not be taken as play. Instead, it should be regarded as a discipline. This discipline can prevent lifestyle diseases. It needs to be understood that though medicines are necessary but balanced diet and lifestyle are crucial for health which are basic pillars for a healthy life. If basic pillars are not good than impact of medicines would not be much. If pillars are strong then medicines would be productive.”

Prof Gautam Sharma, Department of Cardiology, Delhi-AIIMS, said that it has been recognized in researches that just like smoking, stress is also an important risk factor for heart diseases.

“Yoga is not just an exercise but it is a combination of breathing, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and different exercises. Yoga is a powerful weapon to tackle stress. There are studies that reveal that inflammation markers in the body due to stress are reduced by Yoga. We have shown this through blood tests. Inflammatory markers have been reduced by Yoga. We are doing research on clinical outcomes of Yoga on heart diseases,” added Dr Sharma.


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