The iconic Times Square here on Sunday turned into a Yoga Square as some 30,000 enthusiastic people in colourful dresses performed the ancient spiritual practice, celebrating the first UN International Yoga Day.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who witnessed the yoga practice at Times Square described the day as “historic” and thanked the people for their participation and making the day a grand success.
“I congratulate you. It is a historic moment and you have made it doubly historic with your large presence,” she said in her remarks on the occasion.
“You are all now Ambassadors of Yoga,” she told the young yogis, recalling that first time there were just 300 performers and now it’s 30,000 people who have joined here.
She said yoga could provide relief from stress.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabard and India’s permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji were also present at the Times Square and briefly addressed the gathering.
Thousands of performers in colourful dresses practised different ‘asanas’ of the ancient Indian spiritual art. “The yoga mat is the best place to turn to when therapy and anti-depressants don’t work,” Swaraj said.
Swaraj and Sri Sri got a rousing applause from those present, including the hundreds of passers by who were visiblyexcited to see the Indian leader and the spiritual guru.
They arrived to Times Square after attending the yoga day celebrations at the UN.