Yoga is an ancient Indian science which today has universal value, a top envoy said.
Sunjay Sudhir, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, underlined that after two years of modest celebrations of International Yoga Day, the eighth edition will be held at an “unprecedented scale” both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“On Sunday, a big event was held at the World Trade Centre, Dubai, and in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council, International Yoga Day will be celebrated on June 21 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, will be our chief guest. Despite it being a working day, we are expecting more than a full house,” he told Khaleej Times.
The UAE, Sudhir highlighted, will be part of the ‘Guardian Ring for Yoga’, i.e., Yoga Day celebrations held in 75 countries from east to west, with the movement of the sun.
“The UAE will be an active part of the Yoga Day celebrations across the globe. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we are forming some form of a guardian ring. At sunrise, we will be having events at the Louvre Abu Dhabi and another one with the backdrop of the Museum of the Future in Dubai. It will be telecasted live in India and the rest of the world.”
Talking about the larger message of yoga, the ambassador noted that it brings harmony between man and nature.
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition, but now it’s very much an integral part of world heritage. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body. It is a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about just exercise but it’s about discovering the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and nature. The benefits of yoga are not merely for the body but as much for peace of mind and relaxation.”
Sudhir said yoga has been very effective means for people to deal with unprecedented stress during the pandemic.
“While because of the pandemic, people remained confined to their homes for considerable periods of time, it also provided people the opportunity to do yoga and learn it through online courses. So, yoga had its own role to play and contribution to make during the pandemic.”
The ambassador pointed out that the theme for the Yoga Day is aptly titled: ‘Yoga for Humanity’.
“Yoga has a universal appeal. When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the UN General Assembly in September 2014, he made an appeal that June 21 be declared as International Yoga Day. This resolution was passed by consensus, including support from the UAE. Even before that we would see several schools of yoga opened in the west, Middle East and everywhere because of the utility and relevance of yoga, and its benefits. Yoga is for all of humanity and can be a medium to bring humanity together for healthy and soulful purposes.”
More than 5,000 people are expected to participate in Yoga Day celebrations at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Tuesday evening. The Indian Embassy will provide free bus transportation to the venue from two different locations in Abu Dhabi.
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