More than 3,000 people participated in the “Mind Over Madness Yoga” performances organised by the Indian Consulate General and the Times Square Alliance, reports Arul Louis
Rising from the pall of Covid-19 restrictions, New York City celebrated International Yoga Day at the Times Square with day-long performances of the ancient Indian art of developing a healthy mind and body.
The city’s celebrations were held on Sunday to coincide with the Summer Solstice, which falls a day early this year, but the UN is scheduled to observe the day virtually on Monday.
The UN General Assembly declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga in 2014 at the initiative of India with the support of 177 countries.
More than 3,000 people participated in the “Mind Over Madness Yoga” performances organised by the Indian Consulate General and the Times Square Alliance.
India’s Consul General Randhir Jaiswal said at the celebrations: “Yoga is a universal idea, universal thought, universal action. And what better place than Times Square to celebrate a universal thought. This is the crossroads of the world. You have people from all over the world coming, here people from five continents coming here, people from all cultures coming here. While we celebrate yoga in various parts of the world, celebrating yoga here in Times Square is very special, very unique, more so today when it happens to be Father’s Day, what a happy coincidence.”
Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris said yoga is about “health, harmony, unity and togetherness”.
New York State had dropped most Covid-19 restrictions on June 15 and Yoga Day was the first major event at Times Square.
The Consulate featured a stall with nature care, herbs and health materials from India, which Jaiswal said was to help people “live more in harmony with nature, more in harmony with traditional knowledge”.
The day has been observed at the UN with top officials joining in the mass exercises, except last year and this year because of the pandemic.
On Monday, the UN is scheduled to hold a virtual event at 8.30 a.m. (6 p.m. Indian Standard Time) that be telecast over UN TV, which is available on the internet, and on the Indian Mission’s social media.
Yoga can improve physical, mental health: Indian envoy
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 Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu said, kicking off the 7th International Yoga Day celebrations in the country.
Sandhu participated in the yoga protocol session at the Indian House 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 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.
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.
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