In first, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences to offer 5-year yoga degree

Updated: Feb 09, 2019, 16:09 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

The MUHS officials have taken the yogic step after years of discussions and debates over it

In first, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences to offer 5-year yoga degree
Applications to the novel yoga course at MUHS will be invited by the end of 2019

Y for Yoga, says Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) as it introduces a five-year degree course called Bachelors of Naturopathy and Yoga Sciences (BNYS). However, the degree-holders won't be called doctors, unlike their counterparts at the university. Also in the pipeline is a plan to incorporate a yoga course in the curriculum of first-year medical students at the university.

The MUHS officials have taken the yogic step after years of discussions and debates over it. "A government resolution regarding this was passed last month with the state government approving the first-of-its-kind course," said Dr Kalidas Chavan, registrar, MUHS.

Harshada Parulekar (right) along with her husband Sam Parulekar are members of the Yog Shakti organisation
Harshada Parulekar (right) along with her husband Sam Parulekar are members of the Yog Shakti organisation

Officials from the University held several meetings with members of renowned yoga institutions to prepare the curriculum for the course. "There is a growing demand for yoga studies across the world but there is no holistic approach and uniformity to it. This course will help in giving a direction to yoga specialisation," he said. The form of physical, mental and spiritual exercise has been practised around the world for many years now. The United Nations General Assembly had in 2015 declared June 21 as World Yoga Day, giving the practice further recognition and a global boost.

Harshada Parulekar, a yoga instructor with Yog Shakti, said that a degree course like this would certainly help the practice of yoga among the masses. "It will certainly help create more trained yoga teachers with the right kind of knowledge. Having a certificate also helps garner trust. Trainers who want to make a career in fitness can take this opportunity and build on it," she said.

Applications open this year
The University will open applications to the course by the end of 2019. "A few details are yet to be finalised. Once that is done, we will call for applications," Dr Chavan said, adding that the "The GR clearly states that the students will not be called doctors." The University is also considering a basic yoga course for medical practitioners in various streams like MBBS, BAMS, BDS and others. "It would mostly be considered in the first year of under-graduate students," said a senior official from the University.

This proposal has, however, not received a nod from the state government yet, Dr Chavan said. "Adding yoga in the syllabus can be interesting as it can help us meditate and focus. Our work schedule is quite hectic and yoga can help us stay fit. I don't think there is any harm in adding a yoga course," said a first-year MBBS student, requesting anonymity.

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