‘The program consists of breathing techniques based on ancient yogic traditions’.
Mumbai: To counter the immense stress that officials at the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and pilots go through during their working hours, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has launched a specially designed yoga drill known as “SkyFit” to help aviation professionals deal with stress.
“SkyFit” is a module especially designed for aviation professionals. It is a modern scientific technique infused with ancient yogic breathing practices and focuses on breathing exercises for self-healing and taking control of the body and mind.
The “SkyFit” mobile-based application was launched here by Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Wednesday on the occasion of the Global Aviation summit held here earlier this week.
This module of “SkyFit” has already trained 300 aviation professionals in Chennai and Delhi through several workshops that were conducted in these two cities by the AAI to train them into practising “SkyFit” yoga.
Dr Ashok Bhatt, who designed the “SkyFit” yoga drill, told The Sunday Guardian: “SkyFit consists of breathing techniques based on yogic traditions which we have especially designed to take care of stress and manage the stress which ATC officials and pilots go through as they work in a closed and cramped space and pilots have long flying hours without any breaks. We have tried to connect medical science with yogic science, where the most important thing is the correct way of breathing. Most of us are chest breathers which is not the right way.”
“The right way of breathing is diaphragmatic breathing which is also known as belly breathing or abdominal breathing, and is considered physiologically as the most efficient way of breathing. It takes care of the autonomic nervous system; thereby dealing with all stress-related diseases like hypertension, asthma and diabetes,” Dr Bhatt added.
Speaking to this correspondent, AAI officials said that this practice would immensely benefit ATC officials and pilots as the ATC officials have a very stressful job as their job requires a high degree of attention to every detail, as well as a very high level of concentration.
An AAI official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The job of an ATC official is very demanding with high stress levels, as a single ATC official deals with 100 aircraft on the radar, controlling them and managing the airspace efficiently and expeditiously. They also have to monitor the weather and advise pilots accordingly, as well address aircraft emergencies, coding, decoding, reasoning and remember what instructions were given to a particular airplane half an hour back. All these require a high level of concentration. Even pilots flying for long hours are very stressed as they sit in a closed and cramped space for a very long time and have to keep note of every detail while
“Through this practise of this yoga and right breathing, we are trying to help all our officials deal with stress so that they lead a healthy life. We have already trained several ATC officials and pilots. We are planning to train many more in different cities of the country,” the AAI official added.