International Yoga Day 2017: From Great Wall to London Eye, yoga enthusiasts perform asanas

The various activities that were held during the day included guided mass yoga performances using the Common Yoga Protocol.

By: PTI | Beijing/london | Published:June 20, 2017 9:40 pm
International Yoga Day, World Yoga Day 2017 Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh (top left) takes part in a mass yoga session in Beijing, yoga enthusiasts participate in a mass yoga session at Great Wall of China in Beijing. (Source: PTI)

From China’s Great Wall to Britain’s London Eye, yoga enthusiasts performed ‘asanas’ at iconic landmarks today as several events were held in various countries to mark the third International Yoga Day.

A large number of Chinese yoga enthusiasts participated in a colourful yoga event at China’s Great Wall on the eve of the International Yoga Day.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh took part in the event and practiced the yoga postures for a while. The event was jointly organised by the Indian Embassy, Beijing Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and Yogi Yoga, a popular yoga school.

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The event is a cultural milestone, marking the first time yoga has been performed atop the Great Wall by a joint Indian and Chinese group of yogis, the Embassy said in a statement.

Around 200 Chinese and Indian participants then carried out the Common Yoga Protocol, followed by a spectacular display of advanced yoga poses by 20 young Indian yoga ambassadors from the Morarji Desai Institute in India, who are specially visiting China for International Day of Yoga celebrations.

In the UK, yoga enthusiasts have been participating in mega yoga events this week at iconic tourist attractions such as the London Eye and Trafalgar Square to celebrate the third International Day of Yoga.

The High Commission of India in London and India Tourism’s UK division staged a yoga takeover of the Coca Cola London Eye, teaming up with UK-based yoga organisations to unite in a so-called ‘Wheel of Yoga’, on Sunday.

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The first-of-its-kind event was classified as “yoga for peace” and took place within 32 pods of the London Eye on the banks of the river Thames to celebrate the opening event of the International Day of Yoga, marked worldwide on June 21.

India’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Dinesh Patnaik, said: “The ancient tradition of Yoga with all its attendant physical, mental and spiritual benefits was not for an individual or a particular community, but the entire world.”

Yogis, both new to yoga and with decades of practice between them, performed gentle asanas and meditative breathing as the London Eye rotated.

In the US, a large number of people including from the Indian community participated in special yoga sessions organised by the Indian Consulate here to commemorate the third International Yoga Day.

Consul General Riva Ganguly Das led the Yoga Day celebrations at the Consulate premises yesterday and participated in the yoga and Art of Living (AOL) sessions.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message on Yoga Day was played before practitioners led the gathering through the two-hour yoga and meditation sessions.

A large number of people attended the yoga sessions at the Consulate and performed the ‘Surya Namaskar’, ‘Pranayam’ and other yoga exercises.

Das said resonance for the Yoga Day has grown in three years since the day was first marked in 2015.

“With the focus on one particular day, it helps promote the message,” she said, adding that lot of people who normally would not have done yoga are also getting interested and participating in the Yoga Day events.

“People realise the benefits of yoga, and India’s name is intrinsically associated with the day,” she said.

In commemoration of the day, the UN headquarters has been lit up for the second year in a row with images of yoga postures.

The Permanent Mission of India to the UN will organise a ‘Yoga Session with Yoga Masters’ at the world body’s headquarters led by Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, India and Swami Sivadasananda of Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Austria.

Chef de Cabinet of the UN Secretary general Maria Luiza Ribeiro and President of the General Assembly Ambassador Peter Thomson are special guests on the occasion.

A yoga event was also held in the beautiful island country of Seychelles with great enthusiasm yesterday at the iconic Palais des Sports indoor stadium in Victoria, Seychelles.

The event, which was jointly organised by the High Commission of India in Seychelles and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Government of Seychelles, was inaugurated by Idith Alexander, Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture in the presence of Minister of Health Jean Paul Adam.

Over 1,000 yoga enthusiasts, including cabinet ministers, senior bureaucrats, senior citizens and children participated in the celebrations.

The various activities that were held during the day included guided mass yoga performances using the Common Yoga Protocol. A Photo Exhibition on yoga was also held.

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