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Renewed Interest in Yoga in India

In India, the birthplace of yoga, modern Indians are rediscovering the benefits of hatha yoga practice. According to an article published in The New York Times, “While a majority of Indians are familiar with yoga, many think it is too complex and time-consuming to practice, particularly with the increasing demands on their time.” A new teacher, Swami Ramdev, based in New Delhi, is popularizing a simple approach to daily practice, with a primary emphasis on pranayama, or breathing exercises.

Ramdev’s current students include India’s vice president, several Supreme Court judges and other senior government officials and politicians.

Members of modern Indian society, much like Americans, are struggling with an increase in the rise of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. And, like Americans, they are looking for better ways to take care of their own health and well-being.

Swami Ramdev currently teaches weeklong yoga camps that attract as many as 75,000 participants per month. Executives of Aastha, a private television channel, told The New York Times that another 1 million people watch his yoga camp on television every day.

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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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