Catholic priest opens yoga centre in Agra

Agra, March 1 (IANS) A Catholic priest on Monday opened a yoga and nature cure centre in the city’s Dayalbagh area to “benefit the suffering humanity”.

Father John Ferriera – who said he had treated hundreds of people with chronic ailments and authored half a dozen books on yoga – asserted that the ancient techniques of breathing, meditation and postures have nothing to do with religion.

“Yoga is my life, my mission, passion and everything. I want people to be healthy. By teaching people how to live a more satisfying and healthy life, many diseases can be controlled.”

“Due to changing lifestyles, side- or after-effects of modern medicines, people are unwittingly falling victims to different ailments,” he said.

“Simple exercises, a little discipline in life, healthy eating habits and constructive thinking are the best preventive medicines. This centre will provide all kinds of nature cure therapies and even train yoga teachers,” the 65-year-old Jesuit priest said.

In 2006, when Ferriera introduced yoga in the morning assembly at the St Peter’s College here, there was vehement opposition. Later, however, other schools followed suit.

“Now, the whole country observes Yoga Day on June 21,” Ferriera said.

He said he trained in yoga in Munger in Bihar while he was suffering from several health problems. “Now, I am fit and always ready to help out other people,” he added.

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