The Second International Day of Yoga was celebrated with great enthusiasm in Paris on 18 June at La Villette. The International Day of Yoga was an initiative launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was adopted by the United Nations to promote Yoga for a healthy life style.
More than 2000 Yoga enthusiasts of all ages participated in these celebrations at La Villette in Paris. Several Indo-French cultural associations, friendship groups, Indian diaspora and Yoga schools like Art of Living, Swami Shivananda Yoga centre, Tapovan, Yoga& Co, Sahaja Yoga, Isha Foundation and others actively contributed to the success of the event. Speaking on this occasion, Ambassador of India, Dr. Mohan Kumar gave a brief overview on the origin of Yoga and emphasised the importance of Yoga in modern lifestyle. He exhorted the youth to regularly practice Yoga for personality development and stress management. The initiative by the Government of India seeks to reclaim the Yoga heritage of India and underline its soft power and wellbeing for all.
The event commenced with sufi songs and traditional Baul song from West Bengal followed by meditation. The event bore a festive look with the participants rhythmically performing different asanas and mudras of Yoga. The event provided an excellent opportunity for all Yoga enthusiasts and the amateurs alike to understand the benefits of Yoga on health and its role in self-realisation.
The International Day of Yoga event in Paris was endorsed by several French and Indian film actors. Famous personalities like Simon Frenay, a renowned French actor and Edgar Morin, an internationally renowned French Philosopher participated in the event. Stéphane Haskell, who heroically defied the physical disability of pony-tail syndrome and its associated lifelong suffering with the assistance of Yoga narrated his personal experiences with Yoga.
On 19 June, Embassy will be organising another International Day of Yoga event in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower with participation of 500 people. On 21 June, more than 100 people will perform Yoga on board a boat in the river Seine sailing from the Eiffel Tower to Cathedral Notre Dame.
Apart from Paris, the International Day of Yoga was celebrated with great enthusiasm in several cities of France including Strasbourg, Nice, Avignon, Angers, Gretz, Samoens, Toulouse, Nantes, Gouvieux and in French overseas territories like Guadeloupe, Martinique and the Reunion Islands. More than 7000 people across France joined in these celebrations and spread the message of ‘Yoga for peace and harmony’.
Others who were present at the event are Mr. MANISH PRABHAT (Deputy chief of mission) Mr. LAVANYA KUMAR (First cultural secretary ), Mr SATISH REDDY (Managing Director world news Network), Ms JASMINE MARECAR (Assistant Prosecutor), Mr VIVEK CHIB, Mr. Venugopal Menon (Second secretary Bolateral relations), Mr. Suresh K Sharma (Attache Cultural) and Mr. Satya Paul (Protocol Officer)