CHENNAI: Sunday is generally a day where one spends time with family and friends. The same was reflected at the ninth Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair – 2018 when hordes of people visited the venue with their families for a relaxed outing to see the 500-plus stalls and witness the numerous other cultural activities being held throughout the day at Guru Nanak College in Velachery.

“We generally go to the beach or go out for a movie on Sunday,” said K Shankar, who visited the fair with his wife and two school-going daughters. “This time we thought we would do something different. We came here because we heard that there was a lot that the children could learn about our culture and heritage.

And it isn’t just the children, even me and my wife ended up learning so much.” A number of stalls were dedicated to organisations that promote healthy living through different forms of yoga and meditation. It was one of the main focus areas of the fair and such stalls witnessed a large number of footfalls through the day.

“I am someone who has started facing a number of stress-related health issues,” said 35-year-old R Kamala, who works at an IT company and was visiting the fair with her husband. “I knew that this fair would have a lot of information and a number of different organisations that I could approach to understand how to deal with these issues better. I have already signed up at one of the places for their weekly class.”

One of the yoga practitioners at the stall, who did not wish to be named, attributed the surge in interest in practising yoga and meditation owing to a rise in lifestyle and stress-related problems.
“People today lead very fast paced and hectic lives,” he said. “In their race to the top, they often neglect their health and mental wellbeing. I have had so many people come to the stall over the last few days and tell me how stress is getting the better of them. We need to realise that these practices will help better our state of mind and help heal the body.”

However, work stress was not all that drove these people to visit these stalls. There was another factor – how to remain calm while studying for exams and maximising potential with the exam season coming up.
“My son is in class 12 and I want him to remain focussed and ready for the board exams,” said S Jaya. “I came here to search out the best places where he can go to learn breathing and meditation to help him during the exams. I have also heard that it helps unleash your true potential so he will be able to do better.”

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