BHUBANESWAR: In difficult terrains and high altitude where physical exercise is next to impossible, Lieutenant Colonel Laxmi Dhar Bhuyan stands out for his dedication to yoga.
A native of Bangur village in Balasore district, Col Bhuyan of Indian Army’s Southern Command believes in protecting not only the country but also the lives of his jawans and fellow officers through yoga.
He is currently posted at the Artillery regiment at Nasik in Maharashtra. Having joined the Indian Armed Forces in the Corps of Military Police in May 1992, he has so far imparted yoga training to more than five lakh jawans at over 15 stations across the country.
“Soldiers are our war-fighting machines who sacrifice their lives to protect the country. They brave extreme weather conditions every single day. I decided to introduce yoga when I found out that it is difficult to do physical exercises in difficult terrains. And it worked wonders,” he said.
Col Bhuyan wakes up at 5 am every day and teaches various asanas, Pranayam and yoga to the entire contingent of armed forces. This has been the daily routine of the Odia army man for the last three decades.
Known for discipline and integrity, Col Bhuyan makes sure that like physical training, jawans take yoga seriously. “If anyone fails to attend a physical training session without prior permission, it is treated as leave. At every station where I have been posted, I make sure a team of instructors is first trained and then it becomes easy to train the full contingent,” he said.
Off late the Indian Army might have introduced the yoga as a part of physical training. The soldiers practice Surya Namaskar, Bhastrika, Anulom ilom, Kapalbhati, Bhramar and different asanas including Bajrasan, Sirsasana, Tadasana and Naukasana under his guidance.
His tryst with yoga began at the age of 15 when a teacher spotted him practising dives and different asanas in headstand position. He topped different examinations since then but yoga has been his way of life.
An university topper in Economics and Law, Bhuyan has taken yoga to new heights. Apart from ground sessions, he is credited to have performed yoga blindfolded on a 20-foot stand fitted to a moving vehicle despite his 20 percent disability due to calcaneum fracture in an accident.
At 50, he is the first armyman to get into Guinness Book of World Records for doing the stunt on the occasion of 75th Independence Day on August 15 at Nasik. By overcoming his disability through sheer grit and perseverance, he has eight world records to his credit.
The officer has various achievements in his professional as well as social life. He has addressed more than 100 yoga seminars in various forums and authored three books - Training and Operations, Evening at Konark and Doctrine of Discipline. He has also contributed to build Odisha’s first Lord Baba Amarnath Temple, which is now a heritage temple in the State.
Apart from army personnel, Col Bhuyan has also been teaching yoga to their family members. Jawans and officers said yoga helped them modulate and optimize sympathetic activity in stressful situations and immediately restore equilibrium.
“Yoga may not replace physical training, but it can supplement to achieve even better results. It helps me to focus in a more targeted way and tackle challenges better. It was very useful during the Covid pandemic when going out was restricted. It was yoga that kept us fit to fight the virus,” said Captain
Lt Col Bhuyan’s record
After running blind-folded for 100 metre and climbing a ladder, longest time hitting on hips by heels on headstand yoga position atop a 20-foot high platform fitted to a Maruti gypsy moving at the speed of 40 kmph and wind speed of 70 kmph at the age of 50 years 03 months 11 days with 20 pc disability.
He made the record of hit on hips by heels for 13,986 times in headstand position for one hour, 13 minutes and eight seconds.
Eight records at a time
Guinness Book of World Records, Asia Book of Records, India Book of Records, Limca Book of Records and Best of India Records, Coca-cola Book of Records, Golden Book of World Records and America Book of Records on the occasion of 75th Independence Day on August 15.