The Centre has long been making efforts to promote yoga. As a part of the National Health Policy 2017, approved by the cabinet, yoga will soon be an integral part of school curriculum and offices, in order to beat studies and work-related stress.

“In order to leverage the pluralistic health care legacy, NHP 2017 recommends main streaming the different health systems: better access to Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) remedies through co-location in public facilities. Yoga would be introduced much more widely in school and work places as part of promotion of good health,” said Union Health Minister J P Nadda.

Government’s framework of National AYUSH Mission mentions about a School Health Programme through AYUSH. This states that easy access to health, nutrition, hygiene education, and services through AYUSH systems of medicine is a simple and cost effective tool which can go a long way in the prevention and control of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. The main focus of School Health Programme through AYUSH is to address the health needs of school going children both physical and mental through yoga and counselling.

As far as yoga in offices in concerned, the Ministry of AYUSH last year appealed to corporate houses that they should encourage the exercise regime to combat rising levels of stress, depression, and work-related health complaints. The AYUSH ministry appealed that the firms should make a regular 30 minute yoga break mandatory for their employees. The ministry formally wrote to corporate bodies like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, for releasing a circular in corporate offices associated with them to include a mandatory yoga programme.

Nadda had earlier said that Yoga, can contribute to resilience against noncommunicable diseases. Decline in communicable diseases has been accompanied by a gradual rise in the prevalence of chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which now contribute to 60 per cent of mortality, he had said.

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