Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed yoga along with thousands of participants at a mass demonstration in the backdrop of the iconic Mysuru Palace on the International Yoga Day and said the physical fitness regime was forming a basis for cooperation among countries, and that it can become a problem-solver. Describing Yoga Day as a ‘global festival’, PM Modi said yogic energy is giving direction to global health. “Yogic energy, which has been nurtured for centuries by spiritual centres of India like Mysuru, is today giving direction to global health,” Modi said while addressing a gathering on the occasion of 8th International Yoga Day.
Thousands participate across world
Thousands of yoga enthusiasts from across the world took part in mass yoga sessions to mark the Yoga Day. The event was marked this year under the theme “Yoga for Humanity”. A series of outdoor yoga events have been organised across the UK to mark the day. The Indian High Commission in London led the celebrations with community events kicking off since last week, culminating at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, known as Neasden Temple, in London.
“Yoga is not just about exercise, it’s a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, with the world and with nature,” Indian High Commissioner to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar said quoting PM Modi. The Nehru Centre in London, the cultural wing of the High Commission, has organised “Yoga Session and Guided Meditation” with SRMD Yoga centre in the UK, with a series of yoga demonstrations being recorded at iconic London monuments such as Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the Tower of London.
It culminated in a special “Yoga In London” video, depicting yoga sessions at the various monuments beginning with a gathering of hundreds at Holland Park in central London on Friday. Indian consulates across different parts of the UK similarly organised open air yoga sessions, after being forced into virtual mode due to the pandemic over the last few years.
Across Europe, the Embassy of India in The Hague, Netherlands, celebrated the event at Atrium City Hall on Friday. The event saw the participation of more than 500 yoga enthusiasts and practitioners from across the Netherlands.
The Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Netherlands, Reenat Sandhu, opened the celebrations with the lighting of the lamp along with senior officials of the government of the Netherlands, who also participated in the yoga session. In her address, Sandhu highlighted the health and spiritual benefits of yoga, especially during the pandemic.
She conveyed the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to adopt yoga as an “integral part of our daily lives” and underscored the important role of yoga in bringing people together through compassion and kindness and fostering a sense of unity, because of which the theme of this year has been chosen as Yoga for Humanity.
The day was celebrated by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in the presence of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. Deuba said that practising Yoga gives positive energy to the body and mind and that it should be made a part of one’s daily life. A lecture-cum-demonstration of the Common Yoga Protocol approved by the Ministry of Ayush was organised at the Embassy. Nearly six hundred Yoga enthusiasts attended the session. The event was broadcast live on Doordarshan as part of the ‘Guardian Ring –One Sun, One Earth’ initiative of the Government of India.
On the eve of Yoga Day, the Embassy also organised a special yoga session in association with the School of Medicine, Kathmandu University. In China, the Indian Embassy in Beijing organised a yoga session. It also announced the winners of a photo competition on how yoga attains its ethereal beauty through the relationship it establishes with nature. In Colombo, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and several parliamentarians participated in the yoga day celebrations.
Indian High Commission in Canberra celebrated the day at the iconic location of ‘the Gabba’, the Brisbane Cricket Ground. Deputy Prime Minister and the Defence Minister of Australia Richard Marles who is visiting India posted a pic on Twitter while doing Yoga.
“An early morning start with some yoga, ahead of a busy couple of days here in India. Looking forward to a packed couple of days, meeting my counterparts and seeing firsthand our close partnership,” he tweeted.
The Indian High Commission in Islamabad celebrated the day on Sunday. “Underscoring message of yoga for humanity, High Commission of India @IndiainPakistan celebrated International Day of Yoga #IDY2022 today with enthusiasts from diplomatic corps and other eminent personalities,” it tweeted.
Meanwhile, President of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid said that the celebration of 8th International Yoga Day under the theme ‘Yoga for Humanity’ could not have come at a more opportune time as the Covid-19 pandemic has upended lives and livelihoods, triggering a deluge of anxiety and depression.
Mob storms yoga day event in Maldives
An angry mob stormed the Maldives national football stadium and attacked participants at the ‘Yoga Day’ event organised by the Indian High Commission and the Maldivian government. The country’s police force soon arrived and tackled the mob, allowing the event to resume, Male-based officials said. Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih termed it a matter of “serious concern”.
In Jammu, Northern Army Commander Lt. General Upendra Dwivedi led over 175,000 troops and 75,000 families of the Northern Command to perform yoga and complimented the soldiers for incorporating yoga asanas into their daily routine in extreme high altitude areas. Arunachal Pradesh joined the rest of the world in celebrating the International Day of Yoga in 45 different locations of the State. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju led the event at Dong in Anjaw district, bordering China. It is the eastern-most village in India, near the point where borders of India, China and Myanmar meet. Dong receives the first sunrise in India, thus earning it the nickname ‘India’s Land of the Rising Sun’.
World benefiting from yoga: BJP chief
BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda said the whole world is now benefiting from yoga due to the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Yoga not only makes one physically strong but also provides mental strength, said Nadda, who participated in a programme in Noida, adjoining Delhi, in Gautam Buddh Nagar district of western Uttar Pradesh to mark the eighth International Day of Yoga. “Yoga is a symbol of healthy body, through yoga we can make our body healthy and beautiful. Yoga not only makes us physically but mentally strong. Today the whole world is benefiting from yoga due to the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji,” the BJP chief tweeted in Hindi.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya joined the celebrations at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadia and called on citizens to take a pledge to be healthy to contribute to the country’s development. Underlining the benefits of the ancient practice, Mandaviya, who performed yoga asanas along with hundreds of participants, said the citizens of a country need to be healthy for it to become a developed nation, according to a health ministry statement. Mandaviya said yoga embodies unity of mind and body, and thought and action. It is a holistic approach that is invaluable to health and well-being.
No barrier on age, caste
Yoga has no barrier of age, caste, geography or religion and everyone should make the ancient physical fitness regime a part of their daily routine to reap its rich benefits, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said on June 21. Addressing the Yoga Day celebrations organised by the Ministries of Culture and Ayush, he said, “Yoga is time-tested. Yoga has no barrier, no age, no caste, no region, no religion. That’s why it is universal.” He complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking Yoga to the United Nations and popularising it across the globe.
ITBP officials celebrated Yoga Day in Ladakh. Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra performed yoga asanas with officers and employees of the Raj Bhavan and said the ancient practice is integral to holistic well-being. He said that yoga not only keeps the body healthy but also keeps the mind positive.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and others performed yoga during Yoga Day celebration at Raj Bhawan, in Lucknow. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Union Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad led a crowd of nearly 7,500 people in performing yoga at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad. “More and more people have understood the importance of a healthy lifestyle based on yoga and ‘pranayam’ after the coronavirus outbreak,” Patel said addressing the participants.