In China, 7th International Day of Yoga was celebrated at Indian Embassy in Beijing with great fervor today. More than 500 people including many Chinese yoga enthusiasts and diplomats gathered at India House to participate in the event.
The yoga session including the common yoga protocol and advanced yoga demonstration was led by one of the first Indian yoga gurus in China, Mohan Bhandari. Many other Indian yoga gurus Hemanth Kumar, Sohan Singh, N K Singh and Ashish Bahuguna also participated in the event. India’s Ambassador Vikram Misri in his brief remarks on the occasion noted the importance of yoga practice for the holistic health of every individual, especially in the time of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, while there is a global effort underway to develop vaccines and treatments, not only for COVID-19 but also many other afflictions, we should not lose sight of the fact that Yoga offers us a physical as well as a spiritual path to wellness. At a time when our mental faculties are being increasingly bombarded by external factors, Yoga offers us the space to slow down our minds, relieve stress and impart balance to our existence, he further said.
Misri who himself is an avid yoga practitioner noted that the central purpose of the physical aspects of Yoga is to prepare the mind for meditation. He recalled what one of the greatest minds on Yoga, Paramahansa Yogananda, once said, “Many people think of yoga as just physical exercises — the asanas or postures that have gained widespread popularity in recent decades — but these are actually only the most superficial aspects of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potential of the human mind and soul.”
Misri complimented Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre of the Embassy of India, for undertaking a series of Yoga outreach events. He announced that in the coming days, it will be expanding its activities by taking up the important task of certification of Yoga professionals for the purposes of training. More details will be made available by the Centre in the coming days, he added.
Ambassador Misri also felicitated the yoga gurus and the winners of the audio and video competition which saw huge participation by Chinese nationals. Indian Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou are also organizing many yoga events to promote the values of India’s ancient tradition of Yoga through online and offline modes. Many Chinese yoga enthusiasts have also adopted Ayurveda in their life and believe that Yoga and Ayurveda are strong pillars to foster cultural exchanges between India and China.
Yoga is hugely popular among Chinese people. Around 15 yoga centres are actively working in Beijing with many having more than 10000 students and few having more than 50000 students. Many Chinese students have also started their own yoga institutes.
Ahead of the celebrations worldwide, Prasar Bharati Correspondent in Beijing spoke to few Indian Yoga gurus, few Chinese yoga gurus and Chinese students on yoga’s popularity in China and International Day of Yoga.
Indian yoga guru Mohan Bhandari who established his institute “Yogi Yoga” in 2004 in China, said that yoga is very popular among Chinese youth and members practicing yoga may be found in almost every Chinese family. He said, International Day of Yoga is a gift from India to mankind and it has enhanced India’s pride at international level. He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to bring Yoga at international level which spreads peace and happiness.
Lin Xiaohai, a Chinese yoga guru who runs a yoga institute in Beijing learnt yoga from Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India in 2001 and started yoga classes in China upon his return. He said that yoga is very good for our body, mind and spirit. Mr. Lin has also been organizing many international Yoga conferences in China.
He said, meditation is the key part of Yoga and in China, people need to practice more of yoga meditation. He said, International Day of Yoga is very important for entire world. He said that Yoga culture has come from India and is a very good way for Chinese people to understand India. He added it is a very good medium of communication between India and China.
A Chinese yoga student Yang Heng from an Indian yoga institute WeYoga in Beijing said that yoga has improved her life quality. She said, yoga is a great gift to world from India and thanked India for this.
The embassy has organized many yoga programs in and outside Beijing in the run up to the 7th International Day of Yoga in collaboration with these yoga gurus who are the torch bearers of Indian yoga culture in China. Indian Embassy also organized many yoga events for other embassies in Beijing which were widely acknowledged and appreciated.
The theme for International Yoga Day 2021 is ‘Yoga for wellness’. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating psychological suffering and mental health problems, many people have been embracing Yoga to stay healthy and to fight isolation and depression. International Day of Yoga has been celebrated globally on 21st June since 2015 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, proposed this idea.