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China introduces yoga campaign to fight stress and depression among university students


(NaturalNews) Since ancient times yoga has been practiced throughout India. It combines breathing techniques, exercise, and meditation to clear the mind and boost overall health. Nowadays this 5,000-year-old practice has become extremely popular among health conscious people in the West. It provides a retreat from their chaotic and stressful lives while strengthening and toning their body.

Considering its popularity and proven effectiveness, China has recently jumped on the yoga bandwagon to fight the growing problem of depression and stress among Chinese students. Earlier this month a yoga campaign has been launched to introduce the ancient Indian practice in 100 universities across China, Zeenews.india.com reported.

Say no to depression with Yoga

In association with Peking University, the 'Say no depression with Yoga' campaign was launched by Yogi Yoga, China's most popular yoga institute. It's run by the former editor of the Chinese-language edition of the international fashion magazine, ELLE, Yin Yan, and her Indian husband and yoga teacher Mohan Singh Bandari.

In 2003, Yin Yan and her husband founded Yoga Yogi and were able to convert their passion for the Indian spiritual art form into a commercial success with an annual turnover of over ten million dollars. They have yoga studios all over China and count over 20,000 students.

Depression has become a major problem in China, especially among students. According to Yin Yan, over 90 million people in China are currently suffering from it. Hence the decision of the Chinese government, through the ministry of sports, to introduce yoga to universities to help students overcome depression and stress associated with the highly competitive Chinese education system.

Yoga, a wonder drug to treat depression

While regular counseling and medication will always be required for some, yoga has shown to be a wonderful cure for many people with a mild depression. According to multiple scientific studies, this low-cost, easy and enjoyable alternative to pills can boosts a chemical in the brain that is essential for good mental health and works as a natural anti-depressant.

As reported by the Daily Mail Online, a recent study found levels of the amino acid GABA to be significantly higher in those who practice yoga. This amino acid is essential for a well-functioning brain and central nervous system. It helps promote feelings of inner peace and relaxation. Low GABA levels have been associated with depression and anxiety.

Diffusing calming and relaxing essential oils throughout your home can also help to soothe your senses and support relaxation after a long day.

China is becoming yoga's second home

Yin Yan said that they will implement a yoga program in the next 100 days in 100 universities to counter China's growing depression problem. She added that yoga classes will be held once a week starting from Peking University, where Yogi Yoga has also established a Yoga research center.

Yogi Yoga, however, was not the first to bring yoga to Chinese universities. In 2014, the China-India Yoga College formally opened its doors in the Yunnan Minzu (Nationalities) University. As reported by Zee News, the college has become so popular, counting over 3,000 students who take part in free yoga sessions offered by the college.

The establishment of the yoga college was one of 24 agreements reached between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to Indian Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, China has become yoga's "second home." He added that by bringing yoga to China, the college promotes cultural exchange while strengthening bilateral ties.





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