There has been a significant increase in the popularity of yoga in the United States after the UN in 2014 declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, India’s Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla said. Addressing hundreds of yoga enthusiasts at the National Monument on Washington on Sunday, Shringla said that yoga has been widely adopted by people all over the world, transcending linguistic and cultural boundaries, and has millions of practitioners in USA.
“The popularity of yoga has seen a significant increase in the United States and in fact all over the world in recent years,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised the Indian missions abroad for organising events on yoga and urged everyone to participate in it.
“Across all continents, the Yoga Day 2019 celebrations have begun with immense fervour. I urge you all to join the Yoga Day programmes in your respective nations and enrich the Yoga programmes with your participation,” Modi said in a tweet.
According to a study, ‘Yoga in America was brought out by the Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance’, the number of its practitioners in the US has increased to more than 36 million.
“This reflects an overwhelming adoption of yoga by the American people,” Shringla said in his remarks during the celebration of the 5th International Day of Yoga organised by the Indian embassy in association with several other Indian-American organisations, yoga and health associations.
An unprecedented number of yoga enthusiasts of all ages and from every walk of life took part in the event, including representatives from the White House, US Department of State and other government agencies.
Prominent members of the diplomatic community, including ambassadors of Nepal, Mauritius and Myanmar, were also present. Emphasising that yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition, Shringla said it represents the unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfilment, harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being.
“Yoga promotes a message of peace and harmony between the spiritual and temporal aspects of the world, making them philosophically a part of India’s civilisational ethos, echoed in the phrase Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means the World is One Family,” Shringla said.
During the event a guided yoga session based on the common yoga protocol was performed by the participants. The session was led by Dr Moxraj, a teacher of Indian culture at the Indian embassy, along with other yoga volunteers.
The Embassy this year organised several curtain-raiser events in collaboration with yoga organisations and yoga studios at several places of the US, resulting in a record turnout for the Yoga Day celebrations.
Following the event, an Indian vegetarian food festival was organised at the Freer & Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian Art located in the National Mall to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
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