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Germany

The Hidden Life Of Trees, And Spiritual Path For Animals

Peter Wohlleben wrote an unlikely bestseller about trees. Now the lifelong forester explores the spiritual side of animals.

Sunlit foliage in Berlin
Sunlit foliage in Berlin
Kristian Frigelj

Peter Wohlleben is standing on a forest path, talking about the sex life of snails. He knows tons of stories and anecdotes ticks feeling hungry, jealous maggots driven to eat the rubber on your tires. Ever since he learned about that, he said, Wohlleben avoids leaving his car outside overnight.

In the true-life yarns he spins, the animals seem human, like in a fairy tale. He's been perched on top of the German bestseller list with his book "The Hidden Life Of Trees" first published in 2015 in which he describes trees' feelings and their ways of communicating. As a matter of fact, trees "cuddle," "nurse" and "educate" their tree-offspring, the forester explains.

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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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