Yoga enthusiasts of all age groups attend 5 different sessions offered on Zoom, maxing out the capacity of the streaming platform.
The Federation of Indian Associations of NY-NJ-CT (FIA-Tri-state) successfully commemorated the 6th annual International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2020. Since the inception of the International Day of Yoga, the FIA, in partnership with the Consulate General of India in New York, has celebrated the day which highlights the importance of yoga.
Yoga enthusiasts of all age groups a logged on to the virtual celebration on Zoom, which included five simultaneous yoga segments, taught by renowned yoga teachers. The event was very well received by The Indian diaspora, maxing out the capacity of the streaming platform.
Highlighting the importance of yoga, FIA President Anil Bansal said it is the “greatest gift” from Bharat to the world. “Besides so many benefits of yoga, it improving our lung resiliency has become more pronounced during this Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.
The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on June 21, 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
Alok Kumar, FIA Immediate Past President and one of the organizers of the Yoga Day 2020 celebration, said the International Day of Yoga an initiative from the Government of India “has added a positive vibe” to millions across the world. He conveyed his gratitude to Consul General of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, including the CGI-NY Team as well as the Yoga 2020 team, including Himanshu Bhatia, Saurin Parikh, Falguni Pandya, and Andy Bhatia, for successfully implementing all the logistics and coordination needed to make the event a grand success.
Consul General Chakravorty, in his address to the participants, noted that June 21, 2020, had a special significance, because, along with the International Day of Yoga, it was also the summer solstice, Father’s Day, and a day when parts of the world witnessed a solar eclipse. “Today is the coming together of celestial as well as manmade phenomena,” he said. He highlighted the importance of yoga in helping create a physical and mental balance, “particularly in these times when we cannot indulge in outdoor activities.” The Consul General also took this opportunity to bid farewell to the attendees and members of the community as his New York term comes to an end.
Speakers gave an overview of the importance of yoga and talked about how yoga has integrated into our daily life.
Vijay Kumar of the North American Institute of Vihangam Yoga talked about the different forms of yoga and their significance and stressed on the importance of asana and pranayama. “Asana is irreplaceable,” Vijay Kumar said, as it not only stabilizes the outside body but also works on the organs inside the body. He conducted a session on ancient meditation techniques.
Eddie Stern, a New York-based Ashtanga Yoga teacher, author, and lecturer, conducted a session on beginner yoga where he taught attendees some breathing techniques, basic asanas and modified Surya Namaskar or sun salutations.
Aashka Amin, a certified yoga teacher, conducted the kids yoga session. She has been trained to work with kids, especially with disabilities and trauma. She believes that yoga can provide much-needed relief to troubled kids and those with special needs.
Rahul Bhalerao of Subodh Yoga focused on Raj Yoga meditation, a simple form of meditation without rituals or mantras and can be practiced anywhere at any time.
Mitali Das focused on pilates, a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. Pilates primarily focuses on trying to relax muscles which are tense and provide strengthening of the numerous muscles of the body.
The virtual event was deemed very successful. The FIA team, once again, maintained its commitment to bringing authenticity and spirit community in each of their events.