by Manu Shah
A new twist will mark the 6th International Day of Yoga celebrations this year.
Instead of the wide open spaces, huge crowds, green lawns and blue skies that characterized the past five IDY’s, the celebrations this year will be held virtually due to the pandemic.
The Consulate General of India, Houston in collaboration with several supporting organizations, is organizing a virtual session of yoga from India House which will be live streamed on the Consulate General of India Houston Facebook page (Facebook.com/IndiainHouston) as well as the Facebook page of India House (Facebook.com/indiahouse)
The two hour Live Program from 10 am to 12 noon on June 21, 2020 will commence with a brief opening ceremony and remarks by the Consul General of India, Houston Aseem Mahajan. This will be followed by the practice of the Common Yoga Protocol with postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation led by none other than the global face of yoga – Yogrishi Swami Ramdev.
For the past three decades, Swami Ramdev has been guiding legions of people to take charge of their health with the practice of yoga. He has millions of followers and his YouTube videos on how to keep the corona virus at bay with herbal remedies and breathing techniques to strengthen the respiratory system are garnering thousands of hits. An indirect result of COVID-19 is that with more time on their hands, many people are exploring yoga’s ancient and proven practices to boost their immune system and attain peace of mind.
Col Vipin Kumar, Executive Director India House recalled Swami Ramdev’s visit to India House, Houston on July 16th 2008 and expressed his delight that “he would again be visiting India House on June 21st, though virtually” .
Patanjali Yogpeeth USA President Shekhar Agrawal is encouraging people to join the yoga session especially during these turbulent times. In a statement, he said “Life has dramatically changed for everyone. These techniques are a powerful tool to help people tap into their inner calm as they deal with isolation, anxiety and stress due to the pandemic.”
Event coordinator and Swayamsevak Sharad Amin stated that this year’s IDY will be dedicated to the Corona Warriors – our heroic front liners and first responders who put their lives on the line every day so they can save the lives of those affected by the deadly virus.
The pandemic has provided an opportunity for several cities to come together on one virtual platform to celebrate IDY. Houston will be joined by Austin, Dallas, The Woodlands and Yoga enthusiasts from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma & Texas on June 21.
San Antonio will celebrate IDY on June 20 in a widespread and well organized all day event. iDoYoga San Antonio, in collaboration with all 10 City Council Districts and local yoga studios, is organizing an all-day YOGATHON with Free Yoga Community Classes streamed live throughout the day. The session will begin at 6 am in the morning and culminate with their flagship class at Rivercenter Mall at 6 pm the same evening. All classes will be streamed live on the IDY YouTube channel located on their website.
iDoYoga San Antonio is also raising $15,000 for yoga teachers impacted by the pandemic. The funds will be used to award grants of $500 to 30 local yoga teachers who make their living teaching yoga.
For more information, visit Yogadayoftexas.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Manu Shah