Yoga at Si­achen, Leh and Kargil


The In­ter­na­tional Yoga Day was cel­e­brated by In­dian Army’s 14 Corps on June 21 at Si­achen Glacier, Leh, Kargil. The event at Leh was at­tended by over 500 per­son­nel which in­cluded army per­son­nel of the Leh Gar­ris­son. Large at­ten­dances were also or­gan­ised at Si­achen, Kargil and other for­ward lo­ca­tions along the borders. At Si­achen a cen­tral yoga func­tion was or­gan­ised at the base camp. Sol­diers also per­formed yoga at the for­ward posts on the Si­achen Glacier. Apart from giv­ing an im­pe­tus to phys­i­cal fit­ness, the events were aimed to pop­u­larise yoga and also to spread aware­ness on ben­e­fits of yoga amongst the sol­diers. Large num­ber of sol­diers showed in­ter­est in learn­ing yoga asanas, pranayama and med­i­ta­tion.

The In­dian Army has in­cor­po­rated yoga asanas into the daily rou­tine of the soldier in high al­ti­tude ar­eas with harsh cli­matic con­di­tions. Prac­tice of yoga by sol­diers in such an en­vi­ron­ment has helped them to com­bat var­i­ous dis­eases such as high al­ti­tude sick­ness, hy­poxia, pul­monary odema and the psy­cho­log­i­cal stresses of iso­la­tion and fa­tigue. The res­pi­ra­tory adap­ta­tions of pranayama help the sol­diers to bet­ter adapt to the low oxy­gen en­vi­ron­ment in high al­ti­tude ar­eas. By prac­tis­ing a few min­utes of pranayama, gen­tle asanas and med­i­ta­tion, many of the sol­diers have tes­ti­fied to the phys­i­cal and men­tal ben­e­fits of yoga. A pos­i­tive, well re­laxed and de­stressed body and mind is the most sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit of yoga which in turn as­sists the sol­diers to op­er­ate suc­cess­fully in such a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

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