Look: Over 5,000 Dubai residents from 50 nationalities gather for International Yoga Day

The celebration saw a turnout including 1,500 school students at Sheikh Rashid Hall at the World Trade Centre


SM Ayaz Zakir

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KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad
KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Sat 22 Jun 2024, 10:22 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 2:57 PM

As many as 5,000 residents from over 50 nationalities attended yoga sessions marking World Yoga Day at Sheikh Rashid Hall at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. The Consulate General of India in Dubai organised the event in partnership with Friends of India, highlighting yoga as a practice promoting physical and mental well-being.

The celebration saw a turnout including 1,500 school students, who joined yoga enthusiasts of all ages in performing a series of yoga positions led by experienced instructors.

Olga Ivanov, a Russian working as a realtor in Dubai has been into yoga for the last 17 years. “I have been into yoga since my childhood and the first time I practiced was in when I was in school back in St Petersburg,” said Ivanov.

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“I have attended mass yoga sessions in London and once in New Delhi. But this celebration was grand with attendees from different nationalities trying to learn and practice yoga. I feel rejuvenated and more connected to this beautiful international community we have in Dubai,” said the Russian expat who has been residing in the UAE for the last fou years. “My journey has been truly transformative.”

The event featured a series of yoga sessions led by experienced instructors, promoting physical and mental well-being among participants. Yoga enthusiasts of all ages came together to celebrate this ancient practice that embodies harmony and inner peace.

Aileen Khani, a 12-year-old Iranian came along with her mother to understand yoga. “My friends in school talk about yoga and I did not know what the ancient practice is,” said Khani.

“I learned a lot about yoga and I followed the instructor properly as they made it easy to understand. I liked the breathing exercises and how calm they made me feel. I want to practice more yoga at home now and maybe teach my cousins about it too,” said the 7th grader of GEMS school.

Another enthusiast, Priya Sharma, an Indian expat and resident of JLT said that yoga has always been a significant part of her daily routine. “Seeing it embraced by so many people from various nationalities today was heartwarming,” said Sharma.

“The mass meditation session was particularly moving, as it brought a sense of peace and unity. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a beautiful celebration and proud to see yoga making a global impact,” said Sharma.

International Yoga Day, established by the United Nations in 2014, is celebrated annually on June 21. The Consulate General of India and Friends of India expressed their gratitude to all participants for their overwhelming support and active participation in making the event a success.


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