Yoga can improve both physical & mental health during Covid, says Indian envoy as US celebrates Yoga Day

WASHINGTON: Yoga has the potential to provide both health and happiness by improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the people, especially given the impact of the global pandemic, India’s top diplomat in the US has said, kicking off the 7th International Yoga Day celebrations in the country.

India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, on Sunday participated in the yoga protocol session at the Indian House here which was attended by embassy officials in-person, while a large number of people across the US joined the event virtually through Zoom and the embassy’s social media handles. Welcoming the participants, Sandhu stressed on “yoga’s potential to provide both health and happiness by improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the people, especially given the impact of the global pandemic,” the Indian Embassy here said in a press release.

He also noted that India and the US have stood shoulder to shoulder with each other in fighting the pandemic, it said.

This year’s theme for the event is “Yoga for Wellness”.

All the five Consulates of India in the US — in New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and San Francisco — are also holding various programmes to mark the International Yoga Day.

In New York, the Consulate partnered with Times Square Alliance to host celebrations at the iconic Times Square, attended by more than 3000 people. In keeping with the International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2021 theme, the event showcased holistic health.

The Indian community in New Jersey led the Yoga Day celebrations at the Liberty State Park. In Chicago, the Consulate commemorated IDY 2021 in Grant Park in partnership with yoga organisations in the Midwest region, wherein there was enthusiastic participation in virtual and in-person modes.

Meditation, with the support of the Consulate General of India in Atlanta, is organising International YogaCon USA 2021 with “unprecedented response”, the press release said. The Consulate also held events in Florida and Puerto Rico to mark the Day.

The Consulate General of India, Houston held yoga events at Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston and at River Walk in partnership with the City of San Antonio.

In San Francisco, Consulate is holding Yoga Day celebrations at the Palace of Fine arts, besides Distinguished Speaker sessions by Vivekananda Yoga University in Los Angeles and Yoga quiz on FM radio.

Across the US, the Yoga Day celebrations are being held with the active participation and support of American people, including community organisations and yoga enthusiasts, the release said.June 21, the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day, is celebrated as the International Yoga Day worldwide after the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 2014 a proposal mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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