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UAE: How yoga changed this autistic teen’s life – News


His story inspires Dubai residents who take yoga classes at Expo City

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published: Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 7:29 pm

Last updated: Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 7:30pm

As hundreds of residents celebrated World Yoga Day at Dubai Expo City on Saturday, the spotlight fell on Shravan Sankar Gautham, a remarkable teenager with autism.

He has been practicing yoga for the past eight years, and his devotion to this ancient practice has not only changed his own life, but inspired many others.

world yoga day A partnership between the Indian Consulate and the Indian Women and Art of Living organization in Dubai, many residents head to the Opportunity Pavilion for yoga sessions.

At the age of five, Shravan was diagnosed with autism, a developmental disorder that affects communication and social interaction.

His parents, Bharti Sankar and Sankar Gautham, were looking for activities that would help their son calm down when he became hyperactive. “As a yoga instructor, I’ve found that the best activities are ancient traditions, which have proven to be very helpful in improving my son’s overall health,” says Bharti.

Before moving to Dubai eight years ago, Bharti started taking Shravan to local yoga classes. After they moved to the UAE, he had daily or weekly yoga sessions. “He’s very flexible and can do advanced yoga poses,” Bharti said.

Shravan studied at Ryan International School in Sharjah and is popular for his practice of yoga.

“Over time, yoga helped him develop focus, discipline, and inner peace. It also enhanced his coordination and improved his ability to connect with others on a deeper level,” adds Bharti.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, highlighted the UAE’s extraordinary commitment to making every community event a success.

“In 2014, the United Nations declared June 21st as World Yoga Day, and we’re here to celebrate what this ancient practice means to the world. Yoga originated in India, but it’s truly human,” says Dr. Puri.

“The wealth that comes from India should be shared with every member of the global family. It is important for us to spread the word about the benefits, importance and gift of yoga to the world,” he added.

The essence of yoga is much more than a set of physical exercises. It encompasses a holistic lifestyle that includes physical, mental and spiritual health. Yoga is an esoteric philosophy and practice that originated in ancient India and has evolved over thousands of years.

Yoga is a way of life that encourages individuals to live in harmony with themselves, others and the world around them.

“It incorporates principles such as compassion, mindfulness, gratitude and non-violence. By incorporating these principles into everyday life, people can gain a deeper understanding of themselves,” says Reema Mahajan, founder of Indian Women in Dubai.

“While people associate yoga with various body postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama), it involves cultivating a deep connection between body, mind and spirit,” adds Mahajan.


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