Indian High Commission hosts International Yoga Day event

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Ahead of Monday’s observation of International Yoga Day, the High Commission of India in Guyana celebrated the event for the 7th consecutive year with a simple ceremony.

The High Commission has also held curtain raiser events for this year’s Yoga Day at Kaieteur Falls, Iwokrama and at the Guyana Defence Forces Camp Ayanganna.

International Yoga Day is being observed this year under the theme: “Yoga for Wellness” and aptly titled “Be with YOGA, be at HOME.”

Saturday’s event, which was held at the International Academy of the Americas Inc, was attended by the Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd, former President of Guyana Donald Ramotar and many other Guyanese dignitaries as well as members of the local diplomatic corps and yoga practitioners.

In his remarks, Indian High Commissioner, Dr K.J. Srinivasa, explained that yoga is a system of holistic living with its roots in the ancient Indian tradition and culture. He said yoga techniques are now being widely used in modern days of meeting the changing health care needs of mankind.

“Yoga has indeed transcended the barriers of race, religion and culture, and today has indeed become a global movement. Yoga is essentially a mix of mental and physical discipline based on extremely subtle signs which focus on bringing harmony between the mind, soul and body. Yoga believes in the age-old average of a healthy mind and a healthy body. It is indeed both an art and sign of healthy living and yoga is of course recognized as unique to the world from India. It is a fact that in these testing times of the COVID 19 pandemic millions across the world has sought, solace and has benefited from yoga,” Dr Srinivasa stated.

The Indian diplomat further urged the attendees to start practising yoga as it brings a lot of health benefits in terms of relieving stress, fatigue, depression and other sicknesses.

Meanwhile, the dignitaries in their messages emphasised the importance of Yoga and its relevance in the present testing times of COVID-19 pandemic.

Pre-recorded messages of Prime Minister of Guyana, Hon’ble Mark Phillips, renowned cricketers of West Indies – Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Richie Richardson, were also played during the event. 

This year, owing to restrictions related to COVID-19 in place, only a few guests were invited to participate in the event which was live-streamed on the social media accounts of the High Commission and SVCC and telecast live on prominent television channels of Guyana.

Following the formal ceremony, the attendees performed several yoga techniques. Yoga instructor, Ms Agnela Patil, explained that the techniques used in sessions were mostly to relieve constipation, stress and help with blood circulation.

However, she opted not to use a lot of breathing techniques because of the face masks worn by practitioners, who would have found it difficult to breathe.

The Government of India has been celebrating the International Day of Yoga across the world on 21st June every year since 2015.

In December 2014, India’s proposal under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi was adopted as a United Nations General Assembly resolution sponsored by 177 member nations out of the total 193 members of the UNGA, to unanimously proclaim 21st June, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, as the International Day of Yoga.