Embassy of India celebrates 8th International Day of Yoga at Washington monument

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Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Sandhu addressing the gathering at the 8th International Day of Yoga on June 18, 2022 at the Washington monument in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishndatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Under the theme, “Yoga for Humanity,” the Embassy of India in partnership with the Friends of Yoga, celebrated the 8th International Day of Yoga on June 18th, where hundreds of people including members of the US administration and Congress, and the Indian diaspora participated at the iconic Washington monument in Washington DC.

Ambassador Sandhu and NSF Director Panchanathan performing yoga along with others at the 8th International Day of Yoga on June 18, 2022 at the Washington monument in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishndatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Welcoming the gathering, Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Sandhu, informed, “eight years ago in 2014, Prime Minister Modi had urged the UN General Assembly to adopt International Day of Yoga. Within 75 days, the UN General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, with overwhelming support of member nations. Since then, millions of people have taken part in the celebrations every year across the world.”

He told the gathering that in Sanskrit, yoga means to join. It joins an individual with one’s consciousness with the higher self, with fellow human beings, and the nature. “Yoga is an enhancer — physical, mental, spiritual and intellectual. We require it very much for our well-being.”

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He added that yoga has come into much sharper view now due to the pandemic and associated diseases. “Now in the post COVID scenario, yoga is helping build resilience, health, immunity, togetherness, compassion, and happiness. This year is also special for us since we are celebrating 75 years of independence, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.”

Attendees performing yoga at the 8th International Day of Yoga on June 18, 2022 at the Washington monument in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishndatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Underscoring that people-to-people ties are core to the US-India bilateral relationship that is being guided by PM Modi and President Biden, Sandhu said India is committed to strengthening this vital linkage and yoga is an important medium. He thanked the invaluable support the Embassy received from the US administration, partner organizations, and the community for the event.

Yoga instructors demonstrating yoga poses at the 8th International Day of Yoga on June 18, 2022 at the Washington monument in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishndatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Stating that he was happy that PM Modi made yoga as a priority, Director of the US National Science Foundation, Sethuraman Panchanathan, referred to yoga as the greatest gift of India to humanity and mankind as it unites the world by bringing people together.

“Science is a motivator, science is an enabler, science is a uniter across geographies and boundaries, and science makes solutions possible. Whatever I said now replace science by yoga, which is exactly the same thing,” adding “science and yoga are so synergized and convey the same thing. It is about prosperity of mind, about body, and of any sphere of your life we can think of today. That’s what science and yoga made possible,” he added.

To mark the event, all five US consulates including Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Houston have organized celebrations in their respective jurisdictions, including New York where the event is on the slated date June 21, at Times Square.

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