Despite rain and an overcast weather hundreds of yoga enthusiasts joined the First International Yoga Day celebrations in Piscataway High School in New Jersey, June 21 Cutting across age groups, nationalities and religious backgrounds people lined up ahead of time to practice and celebrate the timeless Hindu tradition. The event was jointly organized by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Overseas Friends of BJP and other likeminded organizations.
The program began with a video, ‘Namaste,’ of Sadhguru Swami of Isha foundation showing people across the globe joining together to celebrate Yoga day. Three parallel yoga sessions were conducted, one for adults that included a 300 plus crowd, one for 75 odd kids and one for senior citizens.
Laughing Yoga by Shri Maheshkant Vasavada from Ahmedabad led the participants roll in laughter and made them relax and get familiar with each other. A yoga warm-up session by. Jayanthi Shriram and her team got the participants ready for some serious asanas (postures).
Following the physical yoga was the meditation and breathing (pranayam). A video message by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from the Art of Living Foundation was followed by a guided meditation and breathing yoga by Shri Manoj from AOL.
A Common Yoga Protocol video from the Government of India played messages from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stressing the importance of selecting June 21 as the International Yoga day by the United Nations and the benefits of yoga and how this ancient science can elevate the individual consciousness to universal consciousness.
Purushotham Rupala, a vice president of BJP delivered a congratulatory message on behalf of the Government of India for organizing this event. Upendra Chivkula, Commissioner, Utilities, NJ, emphasized the need to work towards making yoga recognized by Insurance companies. A proclamation by the town of Plainsboro was read out by Councilman Nuran Nabi.