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Yoga makes its way into European Parliament

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of a website on Yoga, at UNESCO, in Paris. Also seen the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova

Unique discussion forum on yoga with global humanitarian Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at European Parliament in Brussels on April 21 as a curtain raiser to the newly declared International Day of Yoga

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of a website on Yoga, at UNESCO, in Paris. Also seen the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of a website on Yoga, at UNESCO, in Paris. Also seen the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova

For the first time since the United Nations declared 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with India supported by members from all the political groups will bring this much-awaited topic on its agenda in Brussels. The event titled “The Yoga Way” will take place on April 21 at the European Parliament.

None other than global humanitarian and founder of the Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, has been invited for a keynote address on yoga. He will speak on Yoga besides guiding a meditation and leading a question and answer session.

“It is the first time that this topic is being brought to the European Parliament by one of the most recognized ambassadors of yoga, just after the Government of India has set up a dedicated ministry for the promotion of yoga and ayurveda” the Ambassador of India to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg Manjeev Singh Puri says.

‘The Yoga Way’ is being officially hosted by the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with India and endorsed by eleven members of European Parliament. “It is the first time ever that an event has found resonance amongst members from all the seven political groups of the European Parliament.” said Geoffrey Van Orden, Chair of the Delegation. “It is a proud moment to all of us in the European Parliament to host this curtain raiser event on Yoga ahead of the actual celebrations on June 21,” said Nirj Deva, a Sri Lankan origin member of European Parliament and a close associate of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The Indian PM Narendra Modi, during his address at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014 had defined Yoga as “India’s invaluable contribution to the world” and had urged global leaders to observe an International Day of Yoga at the United Nations. In a positive response, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution in December 2014 designating 21 June, coinciding with the summer solstice, as the International Day of Yoga. The Resolution was piloted by India and co-sponsored by 177 member countries of the United Nations, including most of the member states of the European Union.

“I am deeply appreciative of the European Parliament members Mr. Geoffrey Van Orden, Mr. Nirj Deva, Ms. Neena Gill, Mr. Jo Leinen and Mr. Alojz Peterle and their offices for working tirelessly in putting this event together”, said Ambassador Puri.