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Friday , February 1 , 2013
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Benefits of yoga etched in Stone
- Munger school that helped differently-abled Briton win gold comes to town

Champion British paracyclist David Stone was not so much cowed down by cerebral palsy as he was by anger when he discovered the key to calmness on a hillock 200km from Patna.

The Bihar School of Yoga, which 31-year-old Stone credits with helping him slay his demons to strike gold at the London Paralympics last year, is coming to town for a series of camps this February to mark its golden jubilee.

The camps, part of a nationwide tour from January to June, will culminate in the fourth edition of the World Yoga Camp in Munger, Bihar, in October, an event held only once every 20 years.

“Yoga is much more than just a set of physical movements. These camps are primarily meant to raise awareness about the greater potential of yoga,” Bharati Majumdar, who is organising the city leg of the tour, told Metro. “The Bihar School of Yoga believes in a holistic approach aimed at nurturing the body, mind and spirit.”

The first World Yoga Camp had been organised in 1953 by Swami Sivananda Saraswati in Rishikesh, a decade before his disciple Swami Satyananda founded the Bihar School of Yoga in 1963. The two subsequent camps at an interval of 20 years each were in Munger.

For those in Calcutta who would want to benefit from the techniques of the Bihar School of Yoga like Stone did, there will be a camp open to all at Safari Park on Southern Avenue from February 18 to 20.

The other camps will be invitation-only affairs on the campuses of IIM Joka and the GD Birla group of schools. There will be a camp exclusively for CESC employees and a few in residential complexes across the city.

Yoga teachers in Calcutta associated with the school say that yoga as a discipline cannot be generalised.

“The Munger school has always tried to adapt itself to the changing needs of individuals. That will be our focus at the camps as well,” said a teacher associated with school for 17 years.

Stone, who swears by the mental and physical conditioning he received in Munger since he was 21, had told The Telegraph after winning gold in the Mixed T 1-2 Road Race that anger was his biggest enemy until he discovered the Bihar School of Yoga.

“Yoga calmed me down; I was an angry child,” said the paracyclist, who had spent three months in Munger on each visit.

Participants in Calcutta will have only three days to get acquainted with the Bihar School of Yoga, so a possible clash of dates with the proposed Left-backed strike has had many worried.

The camp at Safari Park is slated for February 18 to 20, the last day coinciding with the start of the strike.

“I have been looking forward to this camp for a long time and am now concerned about the last day,” said Kali Prasad Jhunjhunwala, a resident of Lake View Road.

Sadly, yoga doesn’t have a cure for the malaise of bandhs and strikes in Bengal yet.