More than 135 countries participating in Int’l Yoga Day is a record: Syed Akbaruddin

New York : India’s Ambassador to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin said here on Monday that with more than 135 countries gearing up to participate in the grand celebrations of International Yoga Day, the event is set to become a ‘record of sorts’, adding that for the first time, Indian peacekeepers who are deployed in global missions will also take part.

In a video message released today, Akbarrudin said that in New York, the International Day of Yoga always has a special resonance, because it was here in September 2014 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative to declare June 21st as an occasion where the world could celebrate and highlight the importance of Yoga.

“Consequently, we are working towards having multiple events around that date. The most important of course is to have a large number of participants from a diverse group. For the first time, more than 135 countries are going to represent it at the Yoga event on 21st. This, if we can work this out well, will be a record of sorts because the highest number prior to this has been around 106. This is our signature event, but in addition to that, for the first time, we will also have Indian peacekeepers, who are deployed in 13 missions globally participate in activities related to Yoga,” he said.

Asserting that the event will highlight the issue of Yoga for peace and harmony, the envoy said that an event will be held here preceding the Yoga Day on 21st June, which will feature yoga masters Sadhguru Jaggi vasudev and Tao Porchon-Lynch, who is the world’s oldest yoga teacher at 97.

Both the masters will try and respond to issues relating to Yoga and how it helps in the achievement of sustainable Yoga goals

Akbarrudin further said that the UN building will also light up for the Yoga Day celebrations.

“So, our effort is that this year it will enhance the importance we place on yoga and also indicate that Yoga Day is not a one-off opportunity, but is a holistic approach that we will all work towards enhancing its global role,” he said.

Meanwhile, preparations are on in full swing across the country and abroad to celebrate the International Day of Yoga tomorrow, as people were seen holding rehearsals on a large scale besides other cultural events.

The main event will take place in Chandigarh where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate.

The Common Yoga Protocol will begin at 7 am and last for 45 minutes.

In the run up to the celebrations of International Day of Yoga, rehearsal of Yogasanas was held at Rajpath and other places in the national capital yesterday.

Hundreds of thousands of Yoga lovers from Britain to Australia rolled out mats yesterday to practice complex Yoga postures.

High Commission of India and the Indian government’s Tourist Office in London, in collaboration with 14 British Yoga institutions organised the day-long event at Potters Fields Park, near the iconic Tower Bridge.

In the United States of America, Indian classical dances and demonstration of popular Yoga asanas on the lawns of magnificent US Congress are being practiced as part of week-long International Day of Yoga celebrations.

In South Africa, thousands gathered at more than a dozen venues across the country. Yoga and meditation sessions were also organised across major Australian cities including Canberra and Melbourne with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hailing Yoga as one of India’s gifts to the world.

He commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of supporting global peace and well-being.

In a video message yesterday, Prime Minister Modi asserted that Yoga was much more than a physical exercise and it enables people to access a new dimension of the self.

The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated last year. Yoga Day aims at raising awareness about the benefits of practicing Yoga. (ANI)