Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022

Americans Roll Out Their Mats To Celebrate Yoga Day

Americans in California, Texas and other states celebrated the Indian tradition with joy.

Americans practicing Yoga
Americans practicing Yoga Ministry of External Affairs

Thousands of yoga enthusiasts rolled out their colourful mats to stretch, twist and bend their bodies in complex postures, perform deep breathing exercises and salute the Sun across Texas and other US states to mark the 8th International Yoga Day.

 Returning to an in-person format this year, the lush green lawns of Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston, amidst high rise buildings, was transformed, into a sprawling exercise area for the yoga demonstration session on Tuesday evening, where experienced yogis and curious newcomers alike, flexed their bodies and minds despite hot and humid weather.

 Organised by the Consulate General of India in Houston in partnership with several groups, this was the first in-person yoga day celebration after a hiatus of two years due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

 The International Day of Yoga is observed on June 21 every year across the world which underlines the global significance of yoga and its benefits as a holistic approach to health and well-being. This year's theme is 'Yoga for Harmony' with an emphasis on “promoting sustainable lifestyle in harmony with planet earth”.

 "Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient traditions. It embodies unity of mind and body, and a holistic approach to health and well-being. The current pandemic has highlighted the need for making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health," Consul General of India in Houston Aseem Mahajan told PTI.

 "People around the world embraced yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated during the pandemic. The practice of Yoga helps in boosting the respiratory and immune system, dealing with lifestyle related diseases, stress, anxiety and for leading a healthy life.

 "It is our pleasure to bring together a large number of diverse Texans, adjoining states and institutions for celebrating the International Day of Yoga in a befitting manner today and most of June in various other events across the state," he said.

 The free event had everything for yoga lovers from interactive yoga sessions and demonstrations to collective yoga sessions for harmony and peace consisting of asanas (yoga postures), relaxation, pranayama (breathing exercises) as well as meditation.

 Since June 15, the consulate has been organising a series of yoga sessions and webinars across Houston, Dallas, Irving, Pearland, San Antonio, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Another community session is scheduled for June 25 at San Antonio River walk in collaboration with American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), followed by session with India Association of Oklahoma state, and concluding session June 26 in Houston.

 The practice of Yoga and its health benefits are fast spreading within the mainstream population in the US. Disney resort workers traded their character costumes for yoga pants on Tuesday. They planked, did the downward dog and folded into lotus poses at Walt Disney World in Florida.

 The sunrise celebration has spread to other Disney properties around the globe since yoga enthusiasts started it at the Florida resort in 2016. More than 1,700 Disney workers spread out their yoga mats in front of Cinderella's Castle in Florida, while another 1,000 workers started their morning with yoga in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort in California.

 Other Disney workers participated at resorts in Hawaii and Vero Beach, Florida; in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris; and in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Tokyo Disney Resort. Yoga sessions were also conducted virtually at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney