Bengaluru: From the Japanese Parliament to troubled Middle East, Iraq, Jordan and Machu Pichu in Peru, millions across borders, cultures and religion from 150 countries joined the Art of Living to mark the 3rd International Day of Yoga. Under the steady guidance of 25,000 Yoga Teachers from the Art of Living, Yoga enthusiasts from around the globe practiced the Government of India’s Common Yoga Protocol that includes asanas, pranayam and meditation to mark the mega celebrations.
In a show of remarkable dedication, people braved temperatures of -10 degrees celsius in Patagonia to celebrate Yoga. Countries like Iran, Iraq, Rwanda, Ukraine and Myanmar which have been going through conflict and turmoil also sought solace in Yoga. People from all walks of life, including politicians and parliamentarians, army and navy officials, corporates and police forces, home makers, teens, children joined the celebrations. In a note of appreciation Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “I congratulate all the yoga teachers across the world who have been working tirelessly to make Yoga Day a big success.”
500,000 students from 1500 schools and 31,651 inmates from 98 prisons in India were among the lakhs of people from 25 states in India who participated in Art of Living in mass Yoga and meditation sessions.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, Art of Living, personally introduced Yoga and meditation to thousands of people at two separate locations in Himachal Pradesh. The event organised by the Government of India, was also graced by Smt. Smriti Irani and former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Prem Kumar Dhumal. Addressing the large gathering in Sajanpur, Gurudev said, “When mind controls man, it is bhoga(bondage) but when man controls mind it is Yoga.”
“The International Day of Yoga is a big moment for us. We have been teaching authentic and comprehensive yoga for the last 36 years all over the world. Having such packed yoga events in so many countries goes to prove that yoga is truly universal ” shared Kamlesh Barwal, Global Head, The Art of Living Yoga. Connecting people from North to South from Russia to Chile, Finland to South Africa, and East to West from Japan to Peru, Mongolia to the United States of America, virtually every country including Iran, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, Indonesia, Malyasia, Myanmar and China saw Yoga events.
In the run-up to the grand celebrations in India, the Art of Living has been gifting the wisdom of yoga to people from all walks of life in a month-long drive. Christened Yogdaan – Gift of Yoga, the drive has taken basic Yogic exercises and Asanas to people across India, through more than 500 camps. As a prelude to the Yoga Day, a worldwide campaign called “Sun never sets on Yoga” saw thousands from 155 locations in 85 countries practice Surya Namaskar at sunrise on 18th June. A world record was attempted by an Art of Living teacher and engineer, V Jeykumar for completing 108 rounds of Sun Salutations in less than 15 minutes.