Hundreds of yoga enthusiasts, members of the Indian community in Manila, and fitness buffs recently gathered together to celebrate the 8th International Day of Yoga at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia.
A joint partnership between the Indian Embassy in the Philippines and SM, the International Day of Yoga celebration was led by Indian Ambassador H.E. Shambhu S. Kumaran and wife Mme. Amrita Singh Kumaran. It opened with a Ganesh Stuti dance presentation, a traditional ceremony in India that signifies the start of something positive and auspicious.
This was followed by a video message from the Honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. He said that this year’s theme “Yoga for Humanity” appropriately portrays how yoga helped in alleviating the sufferings during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic. It likewise brings people together through compassion, kindness, fostering a sense of unity, and building resilience among people the world over in the emerging post-Covid geo-political scenario.
The Government of India, in consultation with leading yoga gurus and schools in India, developed the Common Yoga Protocol to make yoga practice accessible to all. The Common Yoga Protocol during the International Day of Yoga at SM Mall of Asia started with Chalankriyas or Loosening Practices, and a powerful yoga pose Surya Namaskar, literally translated as Sun Salutation, led by Yoga practitioner Janice Cuevas.
This was followed by a Yogasana practice or seated posture typically used for meditation led by Yoga advocate Chandru Mahtani, and Pranayama or breath regulation led by certified international yoga and meditation teacher Clara Day Herrera. Certified yoga and meditation teacher Jennifer Aguas Non then completed the celebration with a meditation practice.
Yoga, with a 5,000-year legacy from India, is a spiritual discipline which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body, and is also an art and science for healthy living.
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