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Kunming to establish first Yoga College in China

By time of India Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 11:00

The first yoga college in China has been established at the Yunnan University of Nationalities in Kunming. This followed an agreement between the Indian and Chinese governments, which was signed in Beijing during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two countries are also jointly organizing a massive 5-day yoga training camp in Chengdu city, where nearly 1,000 Chinese students will be trained by visiting Indian gurus. The camp which will take place between June 17 and 21 will be attended by 20 yoga teachers from India.

"The university has confidence to build the college into an influential brand with its own characteristics, a platform for cultural exchange and a bridge for Sino-Indian friendship," Peng Jinhui, president of the university, said at the inaugural ceremony on Saturday.

The establishment of a college is expected to help standardize the teaching and practice of yoga in China. Students would be able to obtain a proper graduation certificate before some of them opt for advanced training to become teachers themselves. At present, many of the yoga teachers in China have had limited training, sources said.

"There is a lot of enthusiasm about yoga in China. All that is required is to guide the students to practice yoga in the correct way," Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh, a Mumbai based disciple of the late guru, BKS Iyenger, told TNN from Chengdu where he will be engaged in training.

The college, which has been established as part of a cooperation agreement between YUN and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, will start enrolling students after August, according to Fan Jing, director of international affairs at YUN.

YUN has a long-term history of cooperation and cultural exchanges with India. It is one of eight institutions in China, and the only one in Southwest China, offering Hindi as a language major, Fan said. Its students have studied at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India in Gujarat during the time when Modi was the chief minister, he said.

"The arrival of our students was covered by the local media, and Modi met our students at that time. So he knew our school," Fan said. "The Chinese students President Xi Jinping met during his visit to India visit last year were mainly from our school."

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