Washingtonians enjoy International Yoga Day hosted by Indian Embassy

India’s Acting Ambassador to the US Sripriya Ranganathan, addresses a crowd during celebrations marking International Yoga Day 2024. PHOTO : T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

The 10th International Day of Yoga was organized by the Embassy of India on June 16, 2024, at The Wharf in Washington D.C. This year’s theme of “Yoga for Self and Society” emphasized the need to understand the essentials of living a balanced life.

People of all ages took part in the International Yoga Day 2024 celebrations in Washington, D.C. PHOTO: Indian Embassy

Leading up to the International Day of Yoga 2024, which officially falls on June 21, the Embassy and Consulates throughout the United States hosted several pre-events, engaging various community organizations and yoga enthusiasts in the process.

Participants performing yoga on June 16, 2024, at The Warf in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Against the backdrop of the Potomac River, on a picturesque day with clear blue skies, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan led the crowd, noting, “recognizing yoga’s universal appeal, 10 years ago, on the 11th of December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21st June as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution establishing this day was proposed by India and was endorsed by record 175 Member States.”

While sharing the significance and relevance of yoga in today’s world, Ranganathan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed celebrating this day to bring together practitioners, enthusiasts, and individuals who are curious about yoga to explore and celebrate the special occasion.

Members of the Natananjali School of Dance in Maryland performing a classical dance to invoke a prayer to Lord Ganesha on June 16, 2024, at The Warf in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

She recalled that during his first address to the United Nations, Prime Minister Modi had said “Yoga is an invaluable gift to mankind from our ancient traditions. Yoga embodies the unity of mind and body, thought and action. It is a holistic approach that is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise. It’s a way of discovering the sense of oneness within yourself, the world and nature.”

One of the many participants in the Indian Embassy of Washington’s International Day of Yoga celebrations. PHOTO: Indian Embassy

Addressing the community members and yoga enthusiasts who gathered from the DMV region, Ranganathan posed a question as to what is yoga and why do we practice it? She then explained that in today’s increasingly complex world “we find that our thoughts are scattered and dispersed” and attributed that to the constant influx of information through social media, in addition to the conflicts resulting from political, social or personal encounters.

Cultural performances were part of the International Yoga Day celebrations organized by the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C., PHOTO: Indian Embassy

“At this moment, finding that space of joy and calm and being able to go within is really the need of the hour. It is in this situation that yoga can really help us to deal with the conflicts and problems both within and without,” added Ranganathan. “Yoga is a spiritual discipline, which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. The aim of yoga is self-realization to overcome all kinds of suffering, leading to a state of liberation.”



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