Yoga with Mask organized in Varanasi to Demand Action Plan to Curb Air Pollution

The Climate Agenda organized a Yoga practice session to mark International Yoga Day in Varanasi at Shivala Ghat. The program was organized very differently, as all the Yoga participants had put on a mask, not only to prevent themselves from the poor air quality, but also to aware people about the cause. The organization refers to scientific claims which say that Yoga is an exercise to improve the oxygen intake of the human body, and if oxygen is accompanied by severe particulate matters, Yoga can be dangerous to health. The event was a synchronized with 4 other cities across India, i.e Bangaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Speaking about this uniquely designed activity to bring a serious discourse on air pollution, Lead Campaigner of the organization Ekta Shekhar said “Yoga is actually a set of physical exercises that keeps our body healthy. Even science has accepted that different asanas and yoga postures are helpful in developing physical capabilities. But, at a time when entire Uttar Pradesh is reeling under high toxicity in the ambient air, it could be harmful for human body to do Yoga in open air. Without thinking over a permanent solution of the air pollution, promoting YOGA  by government seems to be another example of ignorance towards the larger cause and its effects.” Adding on to her statements, Ekta Shekhar demanded that the government  should start implementing the  ‘National Clean Air’ program with strong determinations as soon as possible, otherwise it will be too late.

During the program, Yoga Instructor Mr. Yogendra Chandra Gupta said “Yoga is all breathing and respiration based exercise. Practicing it circulates oxygen within our body, but if there are severe levels of pollutant particles and harmful gases are mixed in the ambient air, then preference should be given to controlling air pollution and not Yoga certainly.  Performing Yoga with a mask today is organized to draw government’s as well as public’s attention over this largely ignored issue.

Varanasi’s renowned doctor and a respiratory disease specialist Dr. R.N. Bajpayee says, “During Yoga our body absorbs maximum amount of air and in this process, harmful particles too enter into human lungs and these harmful particles get dissolved into blood and cause harmful diseases. Without raising any question over Yoga, we all must first think that all the activities being performed in polluted air can cause harm to our health and body.

The event was mainly attended by Father Anand, Mukesh Jhanjharwala, Mukesh Upadhyay, Dr Indu, Vishal Trivedi, Diwakar, Shaista, Neha, Mahima, Khusbu, Ravi, Narendra, Vivek, Saurabh Yaday, Om Prakash, Saniya Anwar, Ritesh and hundred others. The Thanks giving was done by Prerana Kala Manch through a awareness song.

Date - 21-06-2018