The Union of Mind and Body – International Day of Yoga 2017
The third annual International Day of Yoga was celebrated today on the 21st of June across the world. An initiative by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi that took life in front of the United Nations General Assembly, to inculcate and spread global awareness about the essence and the message of Yoga, has turned into a global phenomenon as the world welcomed it by successfully celebrating it for the third time.
Yoga literally translating to ‘Union’ originated in India about 5,000 year ago. Practiced by the Vedic Aryans for mental, physical, and spiritual well being, Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It is said to embody unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. The date, 21st of June held significance being the longest day in Northern Hemisphere holding a special importance to most of the world.
The celebrations in the country were in full swing led by the Prime Minister himself, along with many others across India braved early morning rains festive occasion. Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and over 50,000 enthusiastic participants took part at the main event held at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan in Lucknow. The Art of Living Foundation, led by Shri Shri Ravi Shankar Guruji, took the celebrations to a whole new level by celebrating it in 150 countries across the world. Many other corporate, governmental, educational, civilian institutions and organisations took the initiative and celebrated the occasion.
Back home in Manipal, the The Department of Yoga, CIMR and MIT Manipal along with the Volunteer Services Organization, and National Cadet Corps, Manipal University took the initiative to get this event going. A mass yoga demonstration followed by an enlightening session on the ‘Essense of Yoga’ a was hosted at the MIT Food Court. Dr Annapoorna K, along with her team of demonstrators from the Department of Yoga took the crowd on an informative and physically active journey on yoga. As the team led the crowd through various different asanas, performed in various postures, from the standing ones to sitting and the laying exercises, they unraveled the missed out essence and neglected benefits of this ancient art. Owing to the modern fast going lifestyle, it was pretty evident from the struggles of the young crowd to take up simple postures, who an ancient technique like yoga has been sidelined silently. But this actually fuelled the enthusiasm of the young populace to take it up as a challenge and get to achieving physical fitness and mental well being. This was followed by a session on special pranyamam techniques, set up as a fantastic foot note for the nicely executed demonstration. Breakfast followed the demonstration.
The Stage Program was presided over by Dr. HS Ballal, Pro Chancellor of Manipal University and the Guests of Honour were Dr. Narayana Sabhahit, Registrar Manipal University, Dr G K Prabhu, Director of MIT, Dr. Poornima Baliga Dean, KMC Manipal, and Dr (Col) M Dayananda, Medical Superintendent, Kasturba Hospital. Prize winners of the various competitions held in the University and the Academy Schools on the occasion of the Yoga Day were felicitated, A Special Guest on the occasion was Dr H Krishna Bhat, Head of Baliga International Healthcare, a reputed Yoga Centre in India. Also the person behind Yoga being a credited course at Manipal, he spoke at length about the need of yoga in today’s lifestyle and how it can be integrated with the dynamics of the modern world. He was felicitated in the ceremony that followed. The event was screened down by the an enthralling performance of yogic postures and formations by the students of the Department of Yoga.