Yoga 'cures cancer,' claims senior Indian government official

The head of India’s ministry for alternative medicine said research at a Bangalore institute showed that yoga techniques could prevent or arrest the disease

A "cure for cancer" using yoga could be scientifically proven within a year, a senior Indian government official has claimed.

The head of India’s ministry for alternative medicine said researchers at a Bangalore institute were in the process of submitting research showing that yoga techniques could be used to prevent or arrest the disease.

“The institute has found a technique of yoga for the prevention and cure of cancer. They have proved it. The process uses only practising of special asanas [poses],” said Shripad Yasso Naik.

Speaking at a conference in Goa on Saturday, Mr Naik said the technique could be prescribed to patients within a year, once research documents submitted to the ministry had been verified, and could even replace chemotherapy.

Dr HR Nagendra, chancellor of the Bangalore-based Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA), confirmed to the Sunday Express that the research was taking place.

He did not elaborate on how the new technique would work, but has previously claimed that “cyclic meditation”, which combines yoga postures with meditation, can be used to treat serious disease.

Dr Nagendra, who worked as a Nasa engineer in the 1970s, is known to be close to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, and has been described as his personal yoga guru.

However, Indian medical chiefs called for caution over the claims.

“Use of the word cure is not appropriate. It may mislead people. Yoga is a great help and has many benefits. To claim it would cure cancer is premature and not proper,” said Prof. Rajeev Sood of the Medical Council of India.

“This is not the outcome of controlled, randomised studies. These are observational studies. In our modern medicine we don’t consider this proof. It needs further studies."

It is not the first time high-ranking Indian officials have claimed that yoga - popular in the West for relieving stress and boosting flexibility and core strength - could have much greater benefits.

Last year, Goa’s chief minister suggested ancient Indian Ayuverdic medicine should be used to treat a variety of diseases including Aids and cancer.

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