Int’l Day of Yoga to be observed Sunday
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Guyanese and members of the diplomatic corps turned out in their numbers to observe International Yoga Day back in 2018
Guyanese and members of the diplomatic corps turned out in their numbers to observe International Yoga Day back in 2018

THE High Commission of India in collaboration with the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC) in Georgetown will be celebrating the sixth International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2020, online.

In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle recently, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. K. J. Srinivasa said that in Guyana’s unique position of being caught between the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections, many persons may feel overwhelmed.

However, he pointed out that yoga is a system of holistic living which can improve the lives of persons both mentally and physically. The high commissioner hopes that the observance of the International Day of Yoga this year will not be a one-off event, but will expose Guyanese to the opportunities that can come from the discipline.

Yoga has its roots in Indian tradition and culture and its techniques are widely used for meeting changing health care needs. It focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body and promotes healthy living.

In December 2014, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming June 21, the longest day in the northern hemisphere, as International Day of Yoga.

“Yoga is not a religious practice, anyone can participate and it’s not just for the physical well-being, but also the mental well-being,” the high commissioner said.

Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. K. J. Srinivasa

He noted that yoga can help persons overcome non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, stress, depression and high blood pressure. This is achieved by calming the mind and encouraging a healthy vegetarian diet and regular exercise.

“What I’ve observed in people is that when they do yoga, the levels of concentration increase,” Dr. Srinivasa said. “I would suggest you try it. Just 10 minutes every day, switch off everything, no stimulus such as phones, stay in one corner of your house and just close your eyes and leave the mind free and just see the effect after a couple of weeks of where your mind goes. You start thinking positively.”

International Day of Yoga will be streamed on social media accounts of the Indian High Commission and SVCC, Georgetown, on June 21. Persons hoping to participate from their homes can utilise their yoga mats or improvise with materials such as a similarly thick bed sheet, mat or carpet.

Leading up to the day, the High Commission of India and the SVCC are organising several activities with prizes such as an Essay Competition on “Impact of Yoga in my life”; a Poster and Art Competition on “Yoga & Environment”; the Post and Wing Photo Challenge (5 days 5 postures) and video blogging competition on “My Life, My Yoga.”

Meanwhile, a week of online activities relating to lectures on the importance of yoga in the present-day situation by prominent leaders of various organisations will be broadcast live on the same social media accounts.

The high commissioner stated: “COVID-19 won’t come again, so make use of this time, learn something beneficial for yourself. What I have seen persons do in this lockdown is binge- watching tv, Netflix and Youtube — I’m not saying that’s wrong, but it’s hurting your eyes, it’s hurting your concentration…but this practice of yoga will make you more active.”

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