Chennai: If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, then the Heartfulness Institute at Manapakkam is the right place for you.
This is an NGO that conducts yoga, meditation classes and workshops – all for free. The volunteer-based NGO is located away from the blaring horns and speeding vehicles.
The NGO is planning to conduct various events for the International Yoga Day on 21 June. One of the volunteers of the organisation, Ananthi, says, “The Institute has numerous branches in the city, and has hosted a series of events on days of significance with a goal to create awareness on health, peace, women’s welfare, yoga, meditation and so on. The events are conducted every month to achieve the goal of public awareness and societal transformation leading to a better quality of life and well-being.”
Apart from this, every year, the institute conducts workshops at various schools for the betterment of students. “The current education system focuses only on cognitive development of children and does not deal with the social and emotional demands of classroom environment,” Ananthi goes on to say.
Talking about the ideology of the workshops, Ananthi says, “The training program for teachers involves dealing with the mental and physical emotions of the students. Most training methods focus only on pedagogy and content, without addressing the social, emotional needs and life-skills training. If these needs and skills are included in our classrooms, it will have a significant impact on the ability of teachers and students to manage their life and associated problems. This will in turn have a positive impact on the students’ learning abilities and outcomes.”
YOGA FOR LIFE
Throwing light on their yoga practices, she says, “One need not consult a doctor if he/she practices yoga regularly. While doing Yoga, all parts of the body are given work and it keeps one active the whole day. Also, it is scientifically proven that regular practice of yoga improves one’s memory power and immunity level.”
She further points out that the neighbourhood people’s awareness on benefits of yoga has grown. Many government and private schools are taking initiative to teach the students about the importance of yoga and have also included it as a main part of their extra-curricular activities.
Ananthi also informs that a vast crowd gathers to meditate at the Institute’s spacious hall every day, and the residents of this area point to this place as their ‘Happy spot’.
Article by P T Usha