Yoga and Taichi, two practices from world's ancient civilisations of India and China, are the best medium for both the countries to communicate with each other and deepen their friendship, feel a student and experts at China's first Yoga college set up in cooperation with India.
The China-India Yoga College was opened at Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming in 2015 after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Before Yu Songsong started to learn yoga at the institution, he knew little about India, where the ancient practice originated.
Having spent the last six years learning yoga disciplines, Yu is enamoured by the yoga culture and eager to travel to India, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.
In 2013, Yu from a rural area in Guizhou fell ill ahead of an examination to enter university. He ended up studying marketing at a local college of finance not far from his home.
"I don't like marketing at all, and I was suffering from an emotional disorder, almost depression. I received medical treatment but did not get my mind and body right," the 25-year-old, who is currently pursuing a master's degree in the China-India yoga college, said.
"It was yoga that turned me around. I was no longer lost. I've found a direction for my life," Yu said.
He started to practice yoga when he was a freshman and became a vegetarian.
"The physical and mental practices relieved me of psychological distress," he said.
Yu participated in a national fitness yoga competition and studied hard for an admission test to enter the master's program in the yoga college.
Through yoga, Yu is deepening a comparative study in the philosophies of China and India, the two great civilisations of Asia.
"In the class, we discuss and compare the traditional Chinese theory that 'man is an integral part of nature' and the Indian idea that 'the Buddhist and I are one'. Through this, we explore the similarities that underlie the culture and civilisations of the two countries," he said.
Yu is learning yoga from a Indian teacher named Yatendra Dutt Amoli, while his teacher is studying Taichi from Chinese masters and students after the class.
"I'm trying to teach them Indian culture from the Chinese way of looking at nature and values," Amoli said.
"Both Chinese and Indian civilisations were born by nature, and we always try to find ways to connect human beings with mountains, rivers, forests and lakes in the class," Amoli said.
"For example, Taichi and Yoga stress the elemental nature of the being and their performances reflect the balance between the elements of human being with nature, he said.
In Amoli's opinion, though the ways to practice Taichi and Yoga may differ, the fundamentals are similar.
"In this sense, the two practices from the world's ancient civilisations value human life in the same way. This is the best medium for us to communicate with each other as we share the same levels of understanding," he said.
As an ancient Chinese martial art, Taichi can establish a good base for Yoga meditation and enhance one's awareness level, which will be helpful for Yoga, Amoli said.
At the beginning of 2018, two sub-centres of the China-India Taichi college of Yunnan Minzu University were established in India and have trained about 1,000 Indians.
"Taichi and Yoga provide two different platforms to pursue spiritual sublimation and a sound body and mind," Yu Xinli, director of the international cooperation and exchange office of Yunnan Minzu University, said.
"But many Chinese and Indian youths still know little about each other," he said.
"They consider yoga and Taichi merely as two physical exercises rather than two cultures, so we need to do more to deepen mutual learning and friendship," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)