Global Celebration Of Individual And Universal Consciousness

 

Mats stretched and breath in control, people across the globe paid tribute to India’s most ancient tradition and valued human treasure, making it part of their lives, on June 21. Individual consciousness and universal consciousness became one in the practice and experience of Yoga, as people from 180 countries participated in the International Yoga Day 2017 celebrations.

 

Eiffel Tower to Trafalgar Square, from the UN Headquarters in New York, to a marathon in Ukraine, from Machu Picchu in Peru to the Great Wall of China, people from all walks of life displayed the message of harmony — of mind and body and between man and Nature.

Some glimpses from around the world.

China, known for its ancient cultural traditions, took Yoga to the Great Wall.  Organised by Embassy of India, Beijing Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and Yogi Yoga, a popular Yoga school, the event saw thousands of Chinese yogis performing asanas with their Indian peers at the monument. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh took part in the event during the week-long festivities in Beijing celebrating International Yoga Day.

Yogis in London rolled out their mats on the banks of the river Thames, under the watch of the London Eye. The celebrations were staged by The High Commission of India in London and India Tourism’s UK division. The main event was held at the Trafalgar Square, and the festivities started with a dance performance by Arunima Kumar.

The celebrations officially started with actor Anupam Kher turning on the light show at the UN headquarters in New York, with Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador/ Permanent Representative to the United Nations. A ‘Yoga Session with Yoga Masters’ was conducted on the eve of IYD led by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati and Swami Sivadasananda. Diplomats and visitors attended the event at the UN office grounds.

Yogis from all over Peru came for a spiritual union on the sacred grounds of Machu Picchu. Promoted by the Indian Embassy in Peru, the participants performed asanas and meditated atop the famous Inca fortress located in the Peruvian Andes. To encourage more participation, the Ministry of Culture in Peru allowed free admission to the sanctuary during practice hours.

In Netherland, asanas were performed at “Ice Palace” (Atrium of the City Hall). Organised by the Indian Embassy with the support of The Hague City Council, the participants at the event included cricketer Suresh Raina, Joris Geeven from the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, Miss India Holland 2017, Preety Dhillon, Dutch nationals and members of the Suriname-Hindustani community.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 50,000 other yogis celebrated International Day of Yoga in Lucknow. At the start of the event, PM Modi said, “Today, Yoga has become a part of so many lives. Yoga’s popularity outside India is high and has connected the world with India. From Lucknow, I convey my greetings to all those joining the Yoga Day celebrations all over India.” Even rain could not dampen the enthusiasm at this venue. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik joined PM Modi at the Ramabhai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal. The participants included several dignitaries, students, paramilitary personnel and government officials.

Who can be bigger Yoga ambassadors than our jawans, the brave men who face the enemy and tough weather conditions to protect India? On International Yoga Day, men from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, performed asanas in unusual situations.

Soldiers in Siachen performed Yoga in sub-zero temperatures.

Sailors in the INS Sindhukirti, in the submarine’s torpedo room.

The Indian Navy, on-board the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, the largest ship in the fleet.

The practice that began in ancient India was celebrated in Egypt, where actor and singer Sawar Al Naggar performed asanas for the first time, leading the event at Baron Palais Hindou.

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