International Yoga Day 2019

Despite the mercury hovering around 45°C with 90% humidity, thousands of yogis participated in various yoga events

Despite the mercury hovering around 45°C with 90% humidity, thousands of yogis participated in various yoga events this weekend to mark the fifth International Yoga Day.

An array of activities centering not only yoga but also based healthy living such as mental health, creative movement, meditation, dance, vegan brunch and music were hosted by various organizations across the country.

The Indian consulates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, however, organized the mass events for the residents of all age groups.

Dubai’s main yoga event at Zabeel Park was organized by the Indian Consulate in Dubai in cooperation with Dubai Sports Council, NMC Healthcare Group, and supported by Dubai Municipality.

Consul-general of India Vipul had earlier informed that like in previous years, the preparations for the mega event were in full swing. The UAE had started observing the International Day of Yoga in 2017. Recognizing its global appeal, the United Nations on 11 December 2014 proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga

Yoga teachers from the Art of Living conducted some of the sessions, and other participating yoga schools included Sahaj Yoga, Raja Yoga Centre, Heartfullness Yoga, Sky Yoga and Laughter Yoga.

Not only did the participants do laughter yoga, many also won gift hampers including air tickets to India in a raffle draw and other contests.

Other expats in Dubai too flooded the social media apps such as Instagram with their humble yet difficult yoga asanas with beautiful backdrops provided by the city's beaches and even modern infrastructures.

Similarly, Abu Dhabi’s yoga event took place at Umm Al Emarat Park. It was organized by the Indian Embassy supported by Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri. The event was inaugurated by UAE minister of tolerance Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan along with charge d’affaires of the Indian mission, Smita Pant.

Around 4,000 participants gathered to do yoga, watch demonstrations by yogis from across the globe, 10 local yoga institutes followed by a cultural programme.

“It is a great pleasure to join you on the fifth annual International Day of Yoga. Together, we celebrate the beautiful and powerful practice of yoga – its heritage and core values. The UAE is a strong supporter of this celebration. This event promotes close friendship between India and the UAE,” Shaikh Nahyan said lauding yoga's central concept of uniting mind and body.

“As the minister of tolerance, I support your dedication to fostering harmony between all people, spreading the great physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of yoga across the world. Yoga encourages an attitude that looks towards a common humanity as an extension of the ancient principle of vasudhaiva kutumbakam (the world is one family),” added Shaikh Nahyan.

There were sessions like therapeutic yoga for core strength by Brinda Tamilarasan, face yoga by Namrata Nanda, raja yoga by Sister Sona Bahri, laughter yoga by Naser Al Riyami, yoga for spinal health by Sundar Pratap Singh, heartfulness yoga by Indumathy Madhav and blend of dance and yoga performance by Priyanka Sharma of Indian Ladies Association. Amid these disciplined exercise, there was fun moment when children led the way for elders. It was Dr Lokesh Hegde who got children onto the main stage and performed exercises for the rest to follow.

Several other events such as beach yoga, group sun salutations, yoga for kids, families and students that were held at hospitals, schools, various beaches and studios across both the cities over the weekend also saw good participation.

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