Sino-India yoga college takes in first master’s students, expands in China
The China-India Yoga College was opened at the Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming in 2015 in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China that year.Updated: Jan 07, 2019 16:52 IST
The number isn’t large but the enrollment of a dozen Chinese students for the first post-graduate degree on yoga offered at the China-India Yoga College (CIYC) in the southern Chinese city of Kunming is a sign of “widespread attention” the ancient Indian practice is getting in China, a state media report said Monday.
The 12 students enrolled late last year and when they graduate after three years – the last one in India learning among other things, Sanskrit – they will be the first students holding post-graduate degrees on yoga in China.
The CIYC was opened at the Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming in 2015 in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China that year.
In September 2017, 40 undergraduate students enrolled at the college where yoga teachers from India are part of the faculty.
An interview of the first master’s students of yoga in China reflected the “charming spirituality of the ancient practice,” the China News Service (CNS) said in a report.
Zhang Mengping, who worked at a yoga club in Zhejiang province before enrolling for the course, said yoga helped her find inner peace.
The CNS quoted her as saying she felt good to see the “…links between the ancient Chinese and Indian knowledge systems”.
Lang Gongxun, CIYC vice-president, told CNS that there was huge professional demand in China’s yoga industry, and the college was hoping to train comprehensive professionals able to improve the healthy development of this sector.
There’s no doubting the popularity of yoga in China.
In fact, the first branch of CIYC was opened in Yunnan province in the city of Lijiang last month.
Government-sponsored research revealed in 2017 that China had 10,800 registered yoga centres.
The China Yoga Industry Development Report (CYIDR) report said that old links between “pure” yoga from India and traditional Chinese culture including Tai Chi and traditional Chinese medicine aided the spread of the practice in China.
China, in fact, had backed India’s move at the UN to make June 21 as International Yoga Day, giving a fillip to hundreds of yoga clubs and organisation in the Communist Party of China-run country.
Thousands of Chinese have participated in the yoga day celebrations across the country in the last four international yoga days since 2015.
Besides Indian embassy-backed events, local organisations and yoga schools also organise programmes to mark the day.