16,000 in Dubai join the world in celebrating yoga

16,000 in Dubai join the world in celebrating yoga

A United Nations’ mandate declared June 21 as International Yoga Day and was observed in over 177 countries across the globe.



By Dhanusha Gokulan/staff Reporter

Published: Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:47 PM

People from all walks of life cutting across nationalities gathered on Sunday to mark the International Yoga Day at Al Wasl Football Club, Dubai.  — Photo by Rahul Gajjar

People from all walks of life cutting across nationalities gathered on Sunday to mark the International Yoga Day at Al Wasl Football Club, Dubai. — Photo by Rahul Gajjar

Dubai — Six-year-old Indian national Arpitha Sen delicately extended her hands and legs into the ‘warrior pose’, mimicking her mother Kalpana.

“This is the first time I am doing yoga and it is exciting to be doing it alongside so many people,” said Arpitha.

The young girl was one among the 16,000 participants who observed the International Yoga Day (IYD) celebrations on Sunday at Al Wasl Football Club in Dubai.

The packed stadium saw men, women, and children belonging to different nationalities and ages partake in the celebrations.

IYD was observed in over 177 countries across the globe. A United Nations’ mandate declared June 21 as International Yoga Day in 2014. The event at Al Wasl Stadium began at 8.30pm.   The day’s events began with a video message from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He addressed the crowds gathered in Hindi, stressing yoga is India’s gift to the world.

Later, Consul-General of India in Dubai and Northern Emirates, Anurag Bhushan said that he is extremely pleased and “not surprised” at the turnout of the event.

He said: “Dubai has not seen a moment like this one. Shortly after the UN passed the resolution, it was a great moment of pride for our country. Yoga is our way of life. It is a gift that has been passed down from our ancestors and now we are giving this gift to the world.”

After preliminary speeches, the attendees took part in a mass yoga practice. After performing a few breathing exercises and stretching exercises, a mass yoga wave — similar to the Mexican wave, was also conducted.

Khaleej Times caught up with some of the attendees at the event and most of them said that this is a great moment of people coming together and they are looking forward to attend the event next year. Indian national Monika Saxena said that yoga helped her lose up to 20 kgs.

“My health has drastically improved since I began my practice three years ago. This event itself is wonderful and it is great to see so many people practice yoga.”

Another participant Dan Asher, a British national said: “Dubai in general is a very stressful city and yoga is a wonderful way to relax. I am a practitioner of acro-yoga and it looks like there is a very big following for yoga in Dubai.”

Sivaprasad Chandrashekharan has been practising yoga since 1986.  He said: “Yoga is wonderful and gives so much peace of mind. I would recommend it to everyone and I think what the consulate has done today is wonderful.”

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com



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