Yoga Tourism Can Re-brand Himachal

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Manali: Each tourist destination in the world, be it Switzerland, Kerala or others, have over the years developed a ‘Brand Name’ for themselves. While Switzerland is known for its European Splendour, Kerala is known as God’s Own Country. In fact, Himachal is Switzerland of India. However, it requires to be marketed smartly, especially when Uttarakand is competing with Himachal. Being the birth place of yoga, Himachal needs to reposition its branding.

Yoga is popular across the world as a fitness, therapeutic practice and also influencer of positive health from mind and body perspective.

On the contrary Yoga is a simple science expressed in the form of philosophy which emerged from the six ancient Indian schools. It is neither theistic nor atheistic. It was one of the many methods, rather paths to reach the supreme. Maharshi Patanjali compiled these methods of his practice in to Yoga Sutra’s about 2500 Years ago while he was residing in Guptakashi one of the town in the Himalayas.

This science of understanding the mechanics of the entire human system appeared in deep meditative minds of seven celebrated sages who are today known as saptarishis, most of them were either located or lived in Himachal Pradesh during most of their lives. Sage Vishwamitra, the seer of sacred Gayatri Mantra, Yajnyavalkya Rishi, the author of classical Hindu yoga text “ Yoga yajnyavalkya”, Sage Kapila, Vasista Rishi, Sage Jamadagni, Manu Maharshi and many sages resided in Himachal during their lifetime. We still can find ancient temples associated with these enlightened beings in the Himalayan ranges.

Himalayas as the birth place of Yoga

Yogic science is not about Yoga class that you go through about how to flex your body. It is much more deeper, it’s a process of raising oneself to grace or to the supreme consciousness.

Vishwas Tengse, yoga practitioner, researcher, therapist, teacher associated with Maha Arogya Dhama at Gokarna, in a village near Manali, for over a year has been practicing and researching about yogic practices for tapping cognitive memory through Yogic methods.

Vishwas Tengse spoke to Hill Post, “ Yoga is a lifestyle, a Lifestyle of balance that involves self discipline and a self enquiry process for enriching ones own self with the help of integrated methods of perceptual and conceptual science from the rich legacy of Ancient India.

He added, “there are various reasons involved, primary reason being the nature rich environment that helped the sages with speedy results through the integrated perceptual and conceptual pracitces involved in Yogic science. Key aspect of Yoga focusses on breath, that contains vital energy of life. Yogic science calls it as ‘Prana’. The Himalayan region is proven to be a rich reservoir of ‘Prana’. It is because of ‘Prana’ in the environment that every tourist unknowingly feels elated and rejuvenated after vacationing in the Himalayan ranges.”mountains.

He further revealed that the vast size, huge altitude ranges, complex topography and mystical nature of the Himalayas did help the ancient Indian sages in tapping cognitive memory which guided them to merge the self with pure consciousness. Our cognitive memories are not the function of the sense organs, mind or will. They are the result of recognising our ageless and timeless nature. It is attained through the practice of meditation, still observation, deep sleep, food and sadhanas.

Vishwas suggested that the tourism industry of Himachal Pradesh can leverage these precious nature and yoga heritage of the region to spread awareness in helping the world. It would also help in promoting responsible Yoga tourism in the region.

Yoga Tourism can influence positive health and heal psychosomatic disorders. Ayurveda and herbal treatments withYoga as a parallel therapy for many modern lifestyle related ailments can enrich the human personality by involving various cognitive memory tapping techniques, said Vishwas.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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