Second International Day of Yoga held across the US Mid-west

Chicago IL: The Consulate General of India in Chicago in collaboration with City of Sandwich and Redberri Global Corporation celebrated the Second International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 25, 2016 at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois from 10:00 AM to 04:00PM. More than a dozen spiritual & yogic organizations actively participated in the celebration.

Swami Ishatmanandji, President of Vivekanand Vedanta Society, Senator  Tim Bivins, State Representative Tom Demmer, Mayor of Sandwich Rick Olson, Mayor of Polano Robert Housler, Economic Development Director Jim Teckenbrock , Alderman David Fraser, Alderman Fran Moran, Alderman Cara Killey, Alderman Doug Scheidecker, Alderman Pete Dell, Alderman Rich Robinson, Alderman Bill McMahon, Alderman Les Redden and Mr. Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, Office  of Governor Bruce Rauner participated in the inaugural ceremony and other related events. The event was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries in a traditional Indian manner. Dr. Samudrala Venugopal Chary, former union Minister of State (Power and Non-Conventional Energy) also graced the event.

The Consul General, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, extended warm welcome and greetings on the occasion of the Second International Yoga Day. In his remarks he mentioned that Yoga “is an immortal and precious natural technique that traces its origin to the Indus-Saraswati Valley Civilization dating back to 2700 B.C.”. He added that since the adoption of a Resolution by the United Nations last year declaring June 21 as the “International Day of Yoga”, a new “Yoga Era” has dawned in and Yoga has now become a people’s mass movement.

Over 300 million people practice Yoga worldwide, including around 100 million in India and 30 million in the United States.  He urged the participants to join hands to spread the message of peace, harmony and understanding among communities. Consul General also expressed his gratitude to the city of Sandwich and Redberri Global Corporation to collaborate with the Consulate to celebrate second International day of Yoga. Consul General also thanked all the dignitaries, participating organizations, Community members & the people of Sandwich for celebrating the Second International Day of Yoga for peace & harmony.

Bruce Rauner, Governor of the State of Illinois, proclaimed June 25, 2016 as International Yoga day in Illinois, for the cultural significance of yoga and to raise awareness of the health benefits of yoga. Mr. Hardick Bhatt, Chief Information officer, office of Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner read the Proclamation. Mr. Bhatt also appreciated Consulate’s outreach to celebrate the Second International day of yoga at Sandwich city as the message and significance of yoga should not be restricted only to city of Chicago. While expressing his overwhelming support to the second International day of Yoga, Mayor of Sandwich Rick Olson issued a special proclamation to proclaim June 24-25, 2016 as International Yoga Day at Sandwich city. He also expressed his gratitude to the Consulate for collaborate with city of Sandwich for organizing the event. During inaugural ceremony, proclamation issued by Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel was also read out. Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged all Chicagoans to take part in celebrations acknowledging the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of Yoga. Special messages sent by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the President of Village of Oak Brook, Gopal G. Lalmalani were also read out. A commemorative souvenir on the Yoga day was released on the occasion.

Besides Chicago, the Second International Day of Yoga was observed in Carmel & Indianapolis in Indiana, Minneapolis in Minnesota and Madison in Wisconsin. The main event in Sandwich city was held at Timber Creek Inn, 3300 Drew Ave, Sandwich, Illinois from 10:00 AM to 04:00PM under the umbrella of the Consulate in collaboration with City of Sandwich & Redberri Global Corporation. The following participating organizations:

Art of living Foundation, Isha Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center, SEWA International, Science of Spirituality, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Yog Sadhan Ashram, Temple of Harmony, Soul, Love, Fest Heartfulness, Sree Venkatesara Swami Balaji temple,  Sahaja Yoga Meditation, Metropolitan Asian Family Services [MAFS] and American Association of Retired Asians

The program started with a Guard of Honoring honouring the Indian National Flag and US Flag followed by National Anthems of both the countries. Special Messages of Hon’ble Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs & Overseas Affairs were screened. The following other activities were also organized:

Common Yoga Protocol / demonstration of Common Asanas & Meditation by The Art of Living Foundation. Book Exhibition: A special book exhibition on Yoga by the Consulate.  Photo exhibition: Selected photographs on Yoga by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga [MDNIY] and by Raja Choudhury by the Consulate

Screening of the documentary films “History of Yoga: the path of my Ancestors” directed by Deepika and Ramji and “Yoga for the World” designed by XPD Division of Ministry of External Affairs. Introduction to Raj Yoga & Guided Meditation Workshop by the Brahm Kumaris Meditation Center

Surya Namaskar Demonstration by the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh; Talk on benefits of Yoga & Hath Yoga posture & Cleansing demonstration by the Yog Sadhan Ashram. Surat Shabd: ‘Yoga An Ageless Technique’ by The Science of Spirituality; Self Management of Excessive Tension (Stop Diabetic Movement) by SEWA International; Meditation & Guided Self-Realization Exercise by Sahaj Yoga Meditation; Yoga for Beginners by Isha Institute of Inner Sciences; Talk on Science of Kriya Yoga and meditation by Temple of Harmony; Guided Relaxation and meditation by Soul, Love , Fest. Chair Yoga & Meditation by Sri Venkatesara Swami Balaji temple; Chair Yoga demonstration for seniors by American Association of Retired Asians (AARA). Children’s Meditation, Yoga & Workshop for Children – by Sahaj Yoga, Art of Living Foundation & by Brahma Kumaris Meditation center

All the Leading participating organization set up their own booths especially, the Art of Living Foundation. Isha Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centers, SEWA International, the Science of Spirituality, Yog Sadhan Ashram  and AARA and organized parallel activities. There were special rooms for carrying out yoga sessions for the seniors and workshops for the children.

O.P. Meena, Consul, delivered the Vote of Thanks. He thanked all the participants, participating organizations, City of Sandwich, Redberri Global Corporation, Media partners, Individuals for their tireless work to make IYD celebrations successful in Sandwich city. The main event at the Sandwich city concluded at 04:00 PM.

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, IL also celebrated the Second International Day of Yoga which includes Power point presentation on Pranayama & different breathing techniques on June 19, 2016. During the evening assembly on June 26, 2016, a lecture on the health benefits of Yoga was delivered by Dr. Naishad Shah, preceded by a two minute video of PM Modi’s speech on Yoga.

Indian Association of Minnesota celebrated Second International Day of Yoga on 19th June, 2016 at Hindu Milan Mandir, Minneapolis from 03:00 PM- 05:00 PM. Besides talks on Yoga, Pranayam, Surya Namaskar & some Assana were demonstrated.

American Hindu Association along with Association of Indian American celebrated Second International day of Yoga on 26th June, 2016 at Lawrence Park, Madison. Besides demonstration of Pranayam & some common asanas, lectures on yoga were delivered.

On 21st June, Namaste Caramel also celebrated Second International Day of Yoga in Caramel & organized talks on Yoga besides demonstration of some asanas. Manav Mental Yoga also celebrated Second International Day of Yoga in Indianapolis on 21st June, 2016 and yoga related activities & talks were organized.

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