UAE: International Day of Yoga celebrated in Abu Dhabi

Michal Michelle Divon/Abu Dhabi
Filed on June 20, 2021
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor try out some Yoga poses during the International Day of Yoga event in Abu Dhabi. Supplied photo

Indian Embassy in the UAE organises Yoga sessions to mark the occasion.

Yoga can play an important role in the Covid-19 recovery effort, said Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor ahead of International Day of Yoga.

In a first-of-its-kind gathering since the start of the pandemic, the Indian Embassy in the UAE hosted International Day of Yoga celebrations in Abu Dhabi over the weekend, holding various sessions and practices with guest of honour Sheikh Nahyan bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.

The event highlighted the multiple benefits of yoga, encouraging participants to practice regularly. Yoga is accessible, can be done almost anywhere without special equipment, and best symbolizes tolerance and coexistence, said Sheikh Nahyan.

Celebrated annually on June 21 since its inception at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, International Day of Yoga takes on new meaning this year following the deadly second wave of Covid in India and a global effort to move into the post-pandemic era.

“It’s a critical component to help us recover. That’s why the theme Yoga for Wellness focused very much on the mental health as much as the physical health,“ said Kapoor.

‘Yoga for Wellness’ was chosen to reflect on the importance of holistic health in pandemic times. Kapoor added that the ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga originating in India are especially relevant now, and make the country proud as it marks 75 years of independence.

“Physically many have been scarred by the pandemic [and] certainly in a very big way, the mental health of a lot of people has been impacted, even for children who have not been able to access school or friends. Often this gets overlooked, the kind of stresses they have gone through, plus the long-term effects of Covid are still unknown,” said Kapoor.

According to Science Daily, one in 10 people diagnosed with Covid-19 will experience long-term symptoms, including trouble breathing, fatigue, and loss of smell and taste. These can last weeks, months, and possibly even years after testing positive for Covid-19.

Yoga eases Covid symptoms

Research shows that Yoga breathwork and asanas can help ease lingering symptoms of the coronavirus and improve both physical and mental health.

The hybrid event in Abu Dhabi’s Ritz Carlton was attended by more than 100 Yoga enthusiasts with many more joining online from around the world.

With Covid restrictions still in place, the event required presenting a negative PCR test and was only open to those who were fully vaccinated. Participants were required to wear masks and maintain social distancing throughout the event.

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