International Day of Yoga: Here’s how Indian Missions in Africa celebrated the day

By: |
June 21, 2021 4:57 PM

The fact that 175 countries co-sponsored the resolution demonstrates that a vast majority of the world's nations recognize the importance of Yoga for the well-being of the body, mind and soul, and our coexistence in harmony with nature.

“Yog Guru Phillippe Torella, a Yoga instructor at the 'Art of Living', Abidjan led the Yoga session for all the participants which encompassed Yoga asanas. Image: Indian Missions in Abidjan

The theme for this year’s International Day of Yoga is “Yoga for Wellness” which is especially relevant within the current context of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the globe.

The fact that 175 countries co-sponsored the resolution demonstrates that a vast majority of the world’s nations recognize the importance of Yoga for the well-being of the body, mind and soul, and our coexistence in harmony with nature.

Yoga in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Despite heavy downpour and Covid-19 pandemic restriction, the seventh edition of the IDY-2021 was celebrated on June 20, 2021, at the Chancery premises, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, maintaining the prescribed norms including social distancing.

Image: Indian Missions in Abidjan

Sharing details with Financial Express Online, Ambassador of India Sailas Thangal said, “About 40 people including spouses of Ambassadors (France, Algeria, Tunisia and Jordan) , senior officials from the Mayor of Cocody and Yoga enthusiasts participated in the Yoga session. The event was celebrated under restrictions with limited participants. However, the whole event was live-streamed on Facebook and Twitter of the mission.”

Image: Indian Missions in Abidjan

“Yog Guru Phillippe Torella, a Yoga instructor at the ‘Art of Living’, Abidjan led the Yoga session for all the participants which encompassed Yoga asanas. He also demonstrated a few difficult asanas and explained the benefits of the same,” said the Indian envoy.

Adding, “The programme of the day started with lighting of traditional lamps in the morning and was followed by a brief speech underlining Yoga growing relevance especially during the current pandemic situation with a proven benefit of boosting immunity. There was also a screening of `Spirit of Yoga’, a short documentary film of ICCR,” Ambassador Thangal added.

Image: Indian Missions in Abidjan

Yoga in Madagascar & Comoros

The Embassy of India Antananarivo too celebrated the 7th International Day of Yoga on Sunday, (June 20, 2021), hosted by the Ambassador of India to Madagascar and Comoros Abhay Kumar.

According to Ambassador Abhay Kumar, “The event was attended by several international diplomats including Ambassador of Egypt Usama Saeed Mahmoud Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Madagascar Michele Saint Lot and well known Malagasy singer and celebrity Ms Stephanie, and ITEC and ICCR alumni and prominent members of the Indian Community in Madagascar.”

Image: Indian Missions in Cote d’Ivoire & Madagascar

In his address, the Indian envoy highlighted the relevance of the International Day of Yoga and role of Yoga in living a healthy life. This was followed by an hour long Yoga session conducted by Ms Yvonne Radjibaly from Heartfulness Yoga and Meditation.

Earlier, in a special video message, Prof RAKOTOVAO Hanitrala Jean Louis, Health Minister of Madagascar highlighted the importance of yoga saying—“Yoga, one of the six schools of Vedic Indian philosophy, aims at unifying the physical, psychic and spiritual aspects of a human being through meditation, asceticism and bodily exercises. Also, this discipline can be valued thanks to its benefits during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic when our well-being is being severely tested.”

Image: Indian Missions in Cote d’Ivoire & Madagascar

He is also participating in the 4th International Yoga Conference titled UBUNTU hosted by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations from June 21-22, 2021.

IDY was also celebrated in Comoros at the Hotel Retaj by the prominent members of Indian community. The President of the Union of Comoros Azali Assoumani congratulated India on the occasion of IDY saying -“On International Yoga Day today, I would like to join the international community in wishing President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, every success in his endeavours, and happiness, health, prosperity to the people of India. I express my sincere wish that India emerges soon from the Covid-19 health crisis and continues to make its invaluable contribution to the World.”

Image: Indian Missions in Cote d’Ivoire & Madagascar

Foreign Minister of Madagascar Tehindrazanarivelo Liva also congratulated India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar tweeting -“My warm wishes to everyone on 7th International Day of Yoga! Let’s celebrate this ancient cultural treasure from India ” on this occasion.

More about UBUNTU

According to Ambassador Kumar, this conference will focus on finding commonalities between Indian and African traditions and how Yoga and African Indigenous Knowledge and Healing Systems can be used for the overall wellbeing of mankind.

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