International Yoga Day
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi asked the world leaders to adopt an International Yoga Day, saying that by changing lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Addressing the 193-member UN General Assembly in United Nations. Modi said “Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day,” Noting that Yoga is “an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition”, he said: “It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”
“Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being,” he said, adding “By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change.”
International Yoga Day 2016
Following an incredible inaugural event on last year’s first ever International Yoga Day, last Sunday saw another wonderful celebration in the grounds of Alexandra Palace.
This year, we celebrated slightly in advance of the day itself, to give people the chance to spend a Sunday bending, stretching, meditating, and coming together to recognise the impact that yoga has on both the individual and the world at large. We started early with two meditation sessions on the main stage, and many early birds came along from eight o’clock to take advantage of a full day of free yoga.
The atmosphere in the park was very special, with many people commenting that it was the perfect spot for such an event. The weather even held off, with the clouds constantly coming over and threatening rain, but barely a drop fell until everyone had packed up and was on their way home. On our Facebook page, Judith commented that ‘All the sun salutations, love and laughter kept the clouds away’, and we’re inclined to agree!
As the day went on, more and more people turned up with their mats, ready to take part in classes, visit the exhibitors in their marquees, and soak up the atmosphere. Yogi Ashokananda led a Himalayan Hatha Yoga class on the main stage, encouraging people to experience the power of the breath, while Carolyn Cowan had everyone up and chanting for her class, The Breath and Depth of Mantra.
The main stage was just one of five class areas throughout the event, and teachers such as Hope Bastine, Harish Chavda, Donna Noble and Natasha de Grunwald led classes that were packed full of visitors. There really was something for everyone, whether it was BoxingYoga™, Teen Yoga, Laughter Yoga or a meditation session. The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, our organising partner, ran taster sessions in the Meditation Space, and led people through the Labyrinth with silent walking meditation.
David Sye proved himself one of the yoga world’s most popular teachers, as he brought The Infamous Yogabeats to the stage and led a class in front of hundreds of people, with an energetic VOGA class following straight afterwards. Emma Bonnici of Kanga Yoga was our Master of Ceremonies for the day.
With a finale led by the Brahma Kumaris, all that was left was to spend some time in quiet meditation, and to feel thankful that we are part of such an incredible worldwide community.
Thank you to everyone that came along to International Yoga Day 2016, whether you came as a visitor, teacher or exhibitor.
Take a look at the images captured from International Yoga Day 2016
International Yoga Day 2015: