Dozens of Yoga enthusiasts celebrated International Yoga Day (IYD) amidst the chanting of ‘Aum’ at the Sun Street Community hall in Reading on 21st June. IYD is celebrated across the globe for the first time after the United Nations declared June 21 as the IYD in December last year.
The participants practised pranayam, breathing exercises, micro exercises, stretches, postures, chakras and colours in between laughter and chanting of ‘Aum.’ Yoga teachers Chiranjibi Paudyal and Krishna Neupane briefed the participants about the International Yoga Day and Nepalese yoga group respectively in between the yoga practices, while another Yoga teacher Rudy Hodgeman shared his experience and the importance of yoga.
People of different age groups, gender and ethnicity actively participated in the yoga, wearing t-shirt bearing the writing of ‘Aum’ and logo of international yoga day and its slogan ‘’yoga for harmony and peace.’’
At the end of the Yoga session, chairman of the Greater Reading Nepalese Community Association (GRNCA) Man Bahadur Gurung reiterated his commitment to support yoga activities for the Nepalese community in Reading. One minute silence was observed in memory of those killed in the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal, while Kedar Rimal recited shlokas from the Vedas for the peace of the departed soul. General Secretary of the GRNCA Nabraj Neupane conducted the second part of the programme.
After the conclusion of 2 hours yoga session, the participants went round the Newtown area and gathered at Warehouse in Cumberland Road, where they discussed the importance of yoga, shared their experiences and recited poems about yoga. The second part programme was organised by GRNCA to shed light the importance of Yoga and involve elderly people in yoga.
Meanwhile, Nepalese community across the UK including Yorkshire, Aldershot, Nuneaton , Dover, Basingstoke, London, Glasgow, and Aberdeen among others celebrated the international yoga day with massive participation. In North Yorkshire, over 300 people including the serving British Gurkhas practised yoga, while there was the report of Nepalese Gurkhas celebrating yoga in Afghanistan.
Yoga day is said to have been celebrated across the globe in 192 countries of the world with the biggest event in Indian capital New Delhi, where over 36,000 people participated including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an enthusiast and regular practitioner of yoga, and Swami Ram Dev, who popularises Patanjali yoga across the globe. In another programme In Reading Hindu Temple, yoga practitioners performed 108 sun salutations to celebrate the day. Local MP Alok Sharma was the guest at the programme.
Although some Muslims opposed the chanting of ‘Aum’ and sun salutation in India, these were done with great enthusiasm all over the world. Though Yoga originated from the Hinduism, it is practised all over the world due to immense health benefits.