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The Everyday Science Of Striving For Happiness

Discovering new methods and habits to help us become a little happier every day has become a veritable science. And big business.

The Everyday Science Of Striving For Happiness
Ernesto Viéitez

BUENOS AIRES — Attaining happiness has become so important in our society that it now occupies an entire field of scientific study. Researchers have moved beyond merely studying the psychology of desire and are now identifying new methodologies to help us learn how to be happier.

One of the pioneers of the field is the Israeli-born psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar, who teaches at Harvard University and is the author of several widely read books, including The Pursuit of Perfect, wherein he calls perfectionism a kind of neurosis. He argues that the modern human condition pushes us to work toward attaining the impossible. The antidote he proposes is to replace this perfectionism with optimism, noting how perfectionists simply reject flaws, while optimists humbly accept them.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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