Beijing: China will have its first Yoga College to train qualified teachers for the ancient Indian spiritual and physical art form which has become hugely popular among the fast expanding middle class in the nation.

The Yoga College is being established by the Yogi Yoga Institute of China, a brain child of Yin Yan, former Editor in Chief of the Chinese edition of the ELLE international fashion magazine, who married Manmohan Singh Bhandari, a Yoga exponent from Rishikesh.

The logo of the college, Shardha, Veerya Smruthi and Pragyana, the quintessential components of Hata Yoga was formally inaugurated by senior Indian diplomat Arun Sahu and Kuan Yutao, General Secretary of the Sino-Indian Friendship Association, an official Chinese body, at function here on last Friday.

"Ever since Yogi Yoga was established in 2004, we have trained over 10,000 teachers and instructors in our branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou," Yin Yan said. Her Beijing centre itself has four branches.

"We want to take Yoga to a different level in China as it has become immensely popular," Yin Yan told on Sunday.

The three-year course would focus on Hata Yoga, a popular yoga form from India, which would be conducted by a vastly experienced faculty from India and abroad headed by Bhandari.

The first batch of students was being enrolled, he said.

Students from three year course would be chosen from the one month basic course involving 200 hours of training. From the basic to high level course would focus on shaping up a good teacher, Yin Yan said.

The entire 36 month course was expected to cost around USD 4000. The degree would enable teachers to become fulltime instructors of yoga, which is practised in all most popular gyms and health centres in China.

Bhandari a well trained Yoga exponent himself heads the training programmes.

Ever since it was established Yogi Yoga has become vastly popular venture as its revenue touched USD eight million last year.

"It is an impressive effort by Yogi Yoga centre to spread yoga in China," said Sahu, who heads the cultural section of the Indian Embassy.

The institute appears to be very professionally run and the very Indian way with Vedic chants and Indian cultural practices, he said.

Over the years it turned out to be massive centre, he said.

As yoga took roots with many Chinese taking to it as a stress reliever, its exponents here also called for a more organised approach to it to provide qualified trainers as ill trained instructors could cause injury.

At a seminar on yoga organised by her centre, Yin Yan described noted Indian exponent of Yoga, B K Iyengar as Mao Zedong of Yoga.

Her institute has translated vast works of Iyengar into Chinese. Iyengar was accorded big public receptions when he visited last year.

Considering popularity of Yoga, the Art of Living Guru Sri Sri visited Beijing last year and established his first yoga centre here.

Yin Yan said her institute planned interactive seminars on Yoga, Tai Chi and other Chinese spiritual and physical art forms.


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