The 9th International Yoga Day (IDY) was celebrated by FIA-Chicago, GSA Global Eye Magazine & Mindful Meditation Yoga in collaboration with the Consulate General of India, on Saturday, June 24th, 2023 in the indoor Sports Complex of Naperville Yard in Naperville IL. The event was well publicized prior to its celebration which resulted in more than 500 yoga enthusiasts, practitioners, students, prominent members of the Indian diaspora/Associations and several local organizations attending, probably the largest yoga event organized in Chicagoland. The program was properly arranged to spread awareness of yoga in all aspects.
Dignitaries in attendance were Consul General of India, Chicago Somnath Ghosh, Congressman Bill Foster, First Lady of Naperville, Lynda Wehri, Councilman Paul Leong along with his wife Artista Leong, Dr Vijay Prabhakar Chairman GSA Global Eye Magazine, Sunil Shah Chairman FIA-Chicago, Vinita Gulabani President FIA- Chicago, Anu Malhotra President Mindful Meditation Yoga, Esteem guests and Community leaders of Chicagoland.
Participants received a warm welcome by showering rosewater sprinkles by the IYD Welcoming Team of 40 Yoga Ambassadors upon their arrival and were escorted to their seats.
Anu Malhotra started the program promptly at 10am. In her welcoming remarks, she stated “Yoga brings celebration and skill in our life & Today’s large gathering confirms this fact. In these gloomy days, it’s very important that we keep our spirits alive, we keep our enthusiasm alive and spread it all around us and Yoga can make this dream possible.”
Sunil Shah highlighted the Indian origin of yoga & its benefits in his welcome remarks. Welcoming the participants joining the celebration, Dr Vijay Prabhaker encouraged everyone to join FREE Weekly Yoga/Meditation Sessions offered by Anu Malhotra through her Non for-Profit Mindful Meditation Yoga to enhance physical & mental health.
Lynda Wehrli highlighted the unifying force of Yoga & its immense benefits. Lynda also presented a Proclamation on behalf of Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli to Anu Malhotra for conducting free Yoga/ Meditation sessions for the community for the past 25 years through her non- for -profit Mindful Meditation Yoga & transforming hundreds of lives.
Adding to the excitement, Consul General of India Chicago expressed his immense joy to see the massive participation in the event. He promised that Consulate General of India Chicago would be happy to collaborate with the organizers in this celebration every year through contributing and inspiring more & more people to join.
“Events like this help remind us of the importance of finding time to take care of ourselves in the midst of our hectic lives. It also helps create a stronger and more united community, something that we can see with the mass number of individuals present here today” said Congressman Bill Foster.
The program was inaugurated with the traditional Lamp lighting Ceremony with the chants of Vedic Mantras joined by Consul General Somnath Gosh, Congressman Bill Foster, First Lady of Naperville, Lynda Wehri, Councilman Paul leong with his wife Artista Leong, Dr Vijay Prabhakar Chairman, GSA Global Eye Magazine, Sunil Shah Chairman FIA-Chicago, Vinita Gulabani President FIA- Chicago, Past FIA Presidents Hitesh Gandhi & Dhitu Bhagwaker, Seeta Bala GSA GE Events Chair, Shree Gurusamy GSA Chief Community Officer, Anu Malhotra President Mindful Meditation Yoga & Bharat Malhotra Co- Founder Mindful Meditation Yoga.
As part of the IYD celebrations, Anu Malhotra, an expert Certified Yoga Teacher conducted a common Yoga protocol session with demonstration of asanas, Pranayama & Meditation. Live Meditative Music played by a renowned Musician Navneet Malhotra added high energy and enthusiasm to this yoga session. All participants, including dignitaries enthusiastically followed the yoga practice session.
A soulful Bhakti Yoga program organized by Vipul Srivastava, Director of Mindful Meditation Yoga presented devotional prayer songs by the prominent musicians & singers of Chicagoland; Anil Jha, Shreelekha Mohanty, Poonam Poddar, Prashant Kurdukar, Sanjiv Saraswat, Bharat Malhotra & Navneet Malhotra. Their enlightening prayer chants touched everyone’s hearts and created ripples of love, joy and peaceful vibrations.
Outland Media Team Anchor Anica Dubey conducted interviews with participants, dignitaries and community leaders to gather their overall experience of the event. Refreshment bags were handed to all participants while leaving the session by the IYD Yoga Ambassadors’ Team.
Anu Malhotra in her closing remarks thanked everyone for their vibrant participation and making this the most impactful event of Chicagoland. She reminded everyone to register for her Free Weekly Yoga/ Meditation classes to help achieve greater joy, greater peace & vibrant health by contacting her at 630-460-4271.