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CLARIN

A City Should Force You Off Your Arse

After hundreds of years of reducing our physical activity with the help of machines, we now find we need to move to remain healthy. A friendly city is one that forces you to walk more.

Walking in Buenos Aires
Walking in Buenos Aires
Miguel Jurado

-Essay-

BUENOS AIRES — Since the time Homo became sapiens, we have tried to find the means to move as little as possible. And now we can say we have almost triumphed: Our entire lives are organized so we do not have to take that butt off the seat. We can do almost anything by looking at the computer screen, sitting in a car or traveling by bus. And when we get home, it's not long before we're slouched in front of the television. Then, if we go out with friends, we sit back down around a table or settle into armchairs.

In the 21st century, we have fulfilled the dreams of thousands of generations of our forebears. But being sedentary goes against our nature, and we are paying the price with our health.

For Denmark's Jan Gehl, who is a sort of planning celebrity, the solution is in, well, planning — the type of city planning that focuses less on the physical cityscape and more on people's well-being. Gehl says that's why cities such as Copenhaguen, Melbourne, Sidney, New York and Vancouver are starting to act — so people will walk and use bicycles as much as possible.

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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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