By OUR STAFF REPORTER
RISHIKESH, 21 Jun: Traditionally, the International Day of Yoga is celebrated with great fervour and excitement in large mass gatherings but this year, due to the pandemic, Yoga Day will be celebrated differently. In light of the Prime Minister’s appeal to celebrate Yoga at Home and with families that a powerful panel was organised on the eve of Yoga Day on 20 June to reflect on the meaning and message learned from these times and to inspire and encourage people to celebrate as a personal practice not just on one day but every day.
The theme of the panel was ‘Namaste Yoga – Community, Immunity & Unity’, and how this – a strong sense of community for the mind, immunity in the body and realisation of the unity within and outside of us – is the confluence and coming together that is needed most in the world today.
The Panel was inaugurated by Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (I/C), Shripad Naik, and Union Minister of State for AYUSH (I/C). It was inspired by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President, Parmarth Niketan, and moderated and led by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Director of the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan. It brought together Yoga Experts and Teachers from across the world including Swami Chidanand Saraswati; Sadhvi Abha Saraswati, Head of Parmarth Yoga Department; Bharat Mitra, Founder of Organic India and UPLIFT, Israel; A Sivamani, World Renowned Percussionist, Mumbai; Deepika Mehta, Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Mumbai; Tommy Rosen, Yoga Teacher and Founder of Recovery 2.0, Los Angeles; Kia Miller, Yoga Teacher and Founder of Radiant Body Yoga, Los Angeles; Ira Trivedi, Writer and Yoga Teacher, Mumbai; Anand Mehrotra, Yoga Teacher and Founder of Sattva Yoga, Rishikesh; Janet Atwood, Author of New York Times Bestseller, ‘The Passion Test’, USA; Saul David Raye, Yoga Teacher, Healer and Musician, USA; Laura Plumb, Ayurveda, Yoga and Jyotish Teacher, San Diego; and Runa Rizvi, Sufi Singer, Mumbai.
Prahlad Singh Patel stated, “Covid-19 is not a time to panic but an opportunity. Yoga is key to Healthy Youth and Healthy India. Yoga provides us a path to strengthen our immunity, allowing us to be better able to combat viruses and disease.”
Shripad Naik shared, “Yoga plays an important role in reinventing yourself with a healthy body, mind and soul. What is the story behind your yoga journey? Participate in the My Yoga, My Life Video Blogging Contest and share the transformation that has been brought about Yoga. I encourage and appeal to everyone to join in this contest and also celebrate Yoga at Home. Let us make a Healthy and Strong India with Yoga.”
Swami Chidanand Saraswati added, “As yogis, the planet is our home and the world is our family, so taking this opportunity of staying at home to reflect and introspect, to repair and prepare ourselves to usher in a “New Normal, is exactly what we need to do!”
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati added, “Yoga is the key to changing all that ails us. From individual depression, anxiety, addiction to communal violence to war and terrorism to environmental destruction and climate change. They are all rooted in the illusion of separation. Yoga brings us the experiential knowing of Oneness and from that Knowing, we think differently, live differently and treat the world differently! That difference is what we need today.”