BENGALURU: Trouble-torn Syria is looking to Yoga, particularly in Bengaluru, in the hope of the return of peace. People from that country who train to become Yoga gurus in Bengaluru, are on a mission back home to restore peace in affected areas. And they claim this is possible with Yoga.
On the eve of International Yoga Day, Hiba Allah Fadel (22) is seen ardently practising Yoga on the sprawling green campus at the Prashanti Kuteeram, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-Vyasa) off Jigani in Bengaluru. For her, it is not about going back home and making a quick buck with the knowledge she has gained here.
Fadel, a Syrian national, is in the city to pursue an advanced course in Yoga. She explains that she would go back and teach children in the war-affected areas. “I want to teach children what I learn here. We are in a situation of war and Yoga is the only solution for many to overcome their distress. It helps people be at peace,” she adds.
Aleppo and Damascus are two focus areas for Fadel and many other yoga teachers who are trained in Bengaluru. Last year, the Yoga University saw 11 other students from Syria training to become full-time yoga teachers.
The S-Vyasa Campus seems to be a hub for students from Syria who hope to take back home a message of peace. Registrar Dr Sanjib Patra says there are at least three to four Syrian students in every batch.
Tool for Social Change
The campus is also hub for many other students who hope to bring about social change with Yoga as a tool. One is Christina Colodomir from Haiti. She is in Bengaluru with the hope of making Yoga affordable to all at her home town. “The economic condition of people is not great. We are just recovering from a disaster. I hope to go back and co-ordinate with the government and have courses introduced at nominal prices for the underprivileged,” she says. Colodomir is an architect by profession. She has been learning Yoga for the last 13 years and pursued most of her courses from Varkala, Kerala.