The Consulate General of India, Houston in collaboration with Friends of Yoga, is organizing several events across Texas to celebrate the 5th International Day of Yoga (IDY).
This ancient Indian practice received unprecedented global attention four years ago when the United Nations recognized June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. An initiative of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself starts his morning with yoga, the first IDY in 2015 saw people turning out in huge numbers stretching and breathing mindfully at public parks, convention centers and open spaces, according to a press release.
Yoga’s soaring popularity can be seen from the crowds that join in the celebration every year. From serious yoga practitioners to curious beginners, each successive IDY has been drawing bigger crowds and garnering greater interest.
As with every year, this year too will feature a lineup of common yoga practices, relaxation techniques and guided meditation by well-known yoga instructors. An added attraction is an Indian Vegetarian Food Festival which will be held at select places to mark the 150th year of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary,
Houston will celebrate IDY on Friday, June 21 on the lush green lawns of Midtown Park.
The event will begin at 6:00 pm with a demonstration of some of the more difficult yoga postures (asanas) and a cultural program. After brief remarks from the Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, the guided group yoga (Asanas or Postures), Relaxation, Pranayama and Meditation will be led by different yoga experts. The event will wrap up at 7:30 pm with a color powder dance party or Holi as it is known in India.
Coordinator of Houston’s yoga events and a firm believer in yoga for optimum health, Sharad Amin expressed his appreciation for the cooperation from Houston’s yoga community in celebrating IDY for the past four years.
Yoga is a precious gift given by Indian sages to humanity, he noted, and emphasized the importance of practicing yoga for good health every day.
“Each one should teach one” the health benefits of yoga as it is key to “being and well-being,” he added.
The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands will host the event on Saturday June 22. Opening remarks will be made by Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray followed by yoga practices from participating yoga studios, Surya Namaskars or the Sun Salutation practice by HTW Yoga Group and the 35 minute yoga protocol set by the Government of India led by renowned yoga instructors Sriram Sarvotam and his wife Ekaterina Jeleva. The morning will conclude with a guided meditation session.
The Consulate General of India, Houston has also planned a series of events in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
In addition to these main events, multiple events are being organized at churches, temples, community centers, Arya Samaj Greater Houston, Brahma Kumaris, India House, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Shakas (HSS), Jamatkhanas and Patanjali Yogpeeth USA Trust between June 15th and 23rd.
The events are being organized in association with The Art of Living Foundation, Arya Samaj Greater Houston, Brahma Kumaris Texas, Ekal Vidyalaya, Hindus of Greater Houston, Hindus Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindu Temple of the Woodlands, His Highness Aga Khan Council for the Southwestern United States, IMAGH, India House, IDoYoga, Isha Foundation, JK Yog, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas, Midtown Houston, Patanjali Yogapeeth USA Trust, Pralaya Yoga, Sahaj Yoga, Sewa International, Youniversoul Fest, Vyasa USA, Yoga Studios, Yoga Friends and volunteers.