New Delhi, July 21: The humble flute, which in Hindu mythology was played by Lord Krishna to charm the maidens, birds and animals of Vrindavan and Mathura, is leading a new healing therapy called Bansi Yoga to beat lifestyle stress.
Bansi Yoga, created by the S. Vyasa Yoga University using a combination of traditional yoga, breathing exercises and flute melody, will get the official stamp of approval in the capital at the third World Flute Festival, “Raasrang 2012″, Aug 9-12. The festival will be presented by the Ministry of Culture and the Krishna Prerna Foundation with support from flute maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia.
A team of experts will demonstrate the yoga and discuss its healing powers in 12 workshops over four days at Hotel Ashok in the capital, Arun Buddhiraja, the founder of the Krishna Prerna Foundation, said.
“Bansi Yoga is a combination of yoga and flute used as a deep relexation technique in 40 minutes of cyclic meditations. The practitioner moves his limbs in a cyclic pattern and the flute, played as an accompaniment, allows him to relax. The relaxation induced is equivalent to eight hours of sleep,” Buddhiraja told IANS.
The flute was a symbol of love, peace and water, he said.
Explaining the dynamics of the Bansi Yoga, Buddhiraja said in some postures, the practitioner stands straight with his hands alongside at right angles. The practitioner then moves his hand in a cyclic manner to the music of the flute. The cyclic motion fans from the hand to the fingers and to the shoulders.
The meditation is followed by chanting of the words Ukara, Akara, Makara (u, aa, maa) – the essence of the word Omkara – to create magnetic sound resonance in the body, Buddhiraja said.
“It is a physiological and psychological clean-up,” he said. The Bansi Yoga courses are designed for two groups of people – corporate executives and the common people.
Commenting on the power of flute and “Raasrang”, writer and researcher Devdutt Pattanik said breath is the connection between matter and soul. When breath was rhytmic, there was music, Pattanik said about the cosmic power of the flute. “It draws one to the centre of existence,” he said.
The festival is also trying to bring back lost string instruments under the Roots section.
“We are also reviving 51 languishing wind instruments of the country. A team of musicians will play the instruments and teach collectors how to restore it. It will serve three purposes of generating employment for musicians, restoration and education,” Buddhiraja said.
The instruments include rare wind pipes like sutli, peepah, Ladakhi flute, kaliya and pungi.
Another attraction of the festival will be its diversity of genres and an international cast of artists.
Tagaram Bheel from Jaisalmer will play the algoza, a double flute that was said to have been invented by devotees to impress Lord Krishna. Kawang Kechong, a Grammy nominee and practising Tibetan monk for 11 years, will play the bamboo and metal flute.
Barcu Karadag, a popular Ney artist from Istanbul, will take Indian audiences on an introductury tour of the Ney – an end-blown flute from the Middle East.
(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at email@example.com)