BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as ‘Neasden Temple’ – welcomed the Indian High Commission and several guests to celebrate the International Day of Yoga on Tuesday 21 June 2022.
The event was held in front of the iconic Mandir and included a live yoga demonstration from three-time World Yoga Champion Ishwar Sharma as well as a presentation of pranayama and meditation techniques from the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) by Neil Patel, an author, lecturer and yoga teacher, and founder of Chi Kri Yoga.
The session was attended by Her Excellency Gaitri Issar Kumar, High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, as well as Lord Rami Ranger CBE and Bob Blackman MP.
Addressing the gathering, Ms Kumar said, “It has been a perfect to start the International Day of Yoga in London at the [BAPS] Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Thank you so much to the management and the members of this Mandir and its community for hosting a very good yoga session with the backdrop of the Mandir. It has energised us for the rest of the celebrations today. It was wonderful being here.”
Lord Rami Ranger added, “Today, we are so grateful to the management of the [BAPS] Swaminarayan Mandir committee for giving the High Commission a place to demonstrate yoga in action.”
Drawing upon a newly-erected 27-foot image of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj – the creator of the Temple – Lord Ranger added, “The vision of Pramukh Swami Maharaj is now gracing countries all over the world.”
The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. As the UN explains: “Yoga emphasises the values of mindfulness, moderation, discipline and perseverance. When applied to communities and societies, Yoga offers a path for sustainable living.”
Girish Patel, a lead volunteer who helped organise the event at the Mandir, said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj practised yoga and pranayama for over two decades. As the world celebrates his centennial birth anniversary, it was an honour to partner with the High Commission of India and celebrate the International Day of Yoga. We look forward to further supporting this annual celebration as well as other events and initiatives promoting the holistic health and well-being of the community.”