Solar Plane Pilots Do Yoga to Energise During Long Flights

Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are congratulated after Solar Impulse 2 landed in Muscat on March 9, 2015. (Agence France-Presse)

Ahmedabad:  As the fuel-free aeroplane Solar Impulse-2 gets energy from the sun, its pilots energise themselves by doing yoga to remain mentally and physically fit during their long flight hours.

For pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard of the single-seater Solar Impulse-2, which is on historic trip to fly around the world, it is important to sustain themselves for 12 to 15 hours without taking a break while flying between destinations, to energise themselves they have chosen yoga.

Both the pilots have been practising yoga for last 12 years under the guidance of Indian yoga guru Sanjeev Bhanot to safely take on their first round-the-world trip on SI-2.

The plane, claimed to be the world’s only solar-powered aircraft, landed in Ahmedabad on Tuesday night after a 15-hour flight from Muscat.

“We sleep for 20 minutes at every five hours during the flight. We also need to regain energy. For that, I started learning yoga 12 years back and have been practising it daily for the last 10 years. We also use yoga to stimulate our body and re-energise ourselves with the help of Yogi Sanjeev Bhanot,” said Mr Borschberg, the 62-year-old Swiss pilot and CEO of the Solar Impulse project.

“The 20 minutes of sleep is necessary. During that nap, we leave the plane fly by itself by putting it on auto-pilot mode. Yoga helps in a different way, I practice yoga almost daily. It helps you think with a right mind, it helps in balance and breathing techniques and helps to re-energise,” he said.

Mr Piccard, the 57-year-old initiator and president of the Solar Impulse project, said he practices self-hypnosis to connect with the inner-self.

“I self-hypnotise to connect with inner-self. That is because hypnosis is a way to connect with the inner side of yourself,” he said.

“When you live normally, you look, you feel, you get distressed, but when you start looking inside yourself, you will disconnect from the uncomfortable situation of (outer world) and you can use your inner resources and inner energy,” said Mr Piccard, who is also a psychiatrist.

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High Court Suggests Terming Orphange as Home for Children

File photo of Madras High Court.

Chennai:  The Madras High Court on Saturday suggested service organisations running orphanages shed the term ‘orphanage’ and instead call themselves home for children.

Justice S Nagamuthu, making observations while passing orders on a civil dispute over a 2.09-acre plot of land at Korattur in Chennai, said “words such as orphan and orphanage should disappear from English dictionary”.

The judge also directed G Elumalai and S Gopal, real estate dealers, to pay Rs 16,000 each to Varadhappa Choultry Orphanage near Chennai for their involvement in creating false land documents. The amount will be used for stitching dresses for inmates of the home.

“Children who have been neglected by their parents and relatives and children who have lost their parents are only children in need of care and protection”, the judge observed.

“The state has a constitutional obligation to assure them a dignified life. It is true that this task has been undertaken by a number of organisations established by pious and service-oriented people.  But many of these organisations, unfortunately or inadvertently, given themselves the name as orphanages,” the judge said.

The judge found that a fraudulent claim based on concocted records had been made on the ownership and possession of the land, leading to prolonged litigation.

He said the duo should be made to face criminal proceedings for furnishing false records, but added that he would instead make them pay the cost for having wasted valuable time of courts.

Counsel for the actual owner of the property suggested the cost be paid in favour of either legal services authority or an orphanage. Counsel for the erring duo too agreed to the suggestion.
Using the term orphanage might create a sense of insecurity and a feeling of loneliness in the minds of children. Noting that they are experiencing depressed thoughts and feelings, the judge said “we should not add to their depression by calling them as orphans.”

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