Dubai: First in-person International Day of Yoga event since pandemic kicks off

Dubai - The Consulate General of India hosted the festivities while adhering to strict Covid-19 safety protocols.

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Sat 19 Jun 2021, 12:50 PM

Last updated: Sat 19 Jun 2021, 3:24 PM

Adhering to strict social distancing measures and safety protocols, Dubai witnessed the first in-person International Yoga Day event since the pandemic in the early hours of Saturday.

In Dubai, the Consulate General of India hosted the in-person event at the Ismaili Community Centre in Oud Metha, Dubai, on June 19. Celebrations for the annual event, led by Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai, was attended by approximately 70 people, including diplomats from the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Dubai.

The International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on June 21 since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. In UAE, the event is usually celebrated on a grand scale, with participation from thousands of nationals and expatriates in various cities across the country.

‘Yoga with blue-collared workers’

Last year, however, due to the pandemic, events and celebrations were limited to a strictly online or at-home format. Dr Puri said, “International Day of Yoga will be observed worldwide, two days from now, on Monday, June 21. Since Monday is a working day here in Dubai, we have decided to hold the celebration today.”

The day’s events began with a fun session of laughter yoga, led by the founder of Rangalaaf Subramaniam Ranganath, followed by a common yoga protocol session led by members of the Art of Living Organisation.

The sessions were followed by a talk from SA Sreedharan from Vedanta Yoga and a meditation session by sister Jyotika from the Raja Yoga Centre. Dr Puri said, “We have been organising several online competitions for residents and students, and we conducted a yoga session for blue-collared workers during the last ‘Breakfast with CG’ event. The events have been ongoing for the past several weeks. However, a majority of the events and webinars have been virtual.”

‘We are thankful to the UAE’

Dr Puri said, “We are meeting in the aftermath of one of the greatest shocks to the international community in the last one hundred years. In India, we have been coping with an unusually severe second wave, the stress and shocks of which have caused unprecedented economic and social upheavals and hardship.”

He stated, “The UAE and more than 40 other nations, many of which are represented here this morning, have been gracious in expediting the arrival of these much-needed supplies. We are profoundly grateful to them for this.”

‘Yoga will be a prominent feature at Dubai Expo2020’

Dr Puri also confirmed that yoga would be a prominent feature at the India pavilion during the Dubai Expo 2020. “After a long period of pandemic-induced inactivity, Expo 2020 Dubai, later in this year, will herald the beginning of the post-pandemic world and serve as a harbinger of economic recovery.”

Wellness Mornings’ with experienced Yoga practitioners will be conducted every alternate week at the India Pavilion, said, Dr Puri.

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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