Honoured to inaugurate the 8th International Day of Yoga celebrations @UN.
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) June 21, 2022
Spirit of togetherness
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India and is now practiced in various forms around the world.
The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
Inaugurating the event, the President of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and livelihoods, triggering a deluge of anxiety and depression, “the practice of yoga serves as a holistic approach to the physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being of humanity.”“It simply works.”
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti said that during the difficult times of the pandemic, millions embraced yoga as their companion, to stay healthy, overcome depression and mental anxiety and it is in recognition of this important role of yoga that the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Yoga for Humanity’.
“Yoga can also be an integral part of our build back better strategy”, he said.
North Lawn return
Organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, this was a first in-person yoga day celebration after a hiatus of two years due to pandemic induced restrictions.
The event titled “Yoga with the Masters” featured introduction to basic yoga practices and their demonstration by renowned Yoga experts, a yoga dance by the group Indian Raga, pranayama breathing by Isha Yoga, yoga asanas by Bhakti Center, and a meditation workshop by the Integral Yoga Institute.
Highlighting the benefits, Sam Chase, an Instructor at Isha Yoga said, “Yoga is about being in an experience in which you and the rest of the existence are not separate things. Now, if you do the yoga practices, definitely these benefits will come, you will become more mentally balanced, you will become physically healthy.”
“But it’s a little bit like driving an airplane around on the streets. Yes, you can use it as a bus if you want, but yoga has the potential to take you into the sky.”