Celebration of International Day of Yoga-2021 in Guyana
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Celebration of International Day of Yoga-2021 in Guyana

           The Government of India has been celebrating the International Day of Yoga across the world on 21st June every year since 2015. In December 2014, India’s proposal under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi was adopted as a United Nations General Assembly resolution sponsored by 177 member nations out of the total 193 members of the UNGA, to unanimously proclaim 21st  June, the longest day in the northern-hemisphere, as the International Day of Yoga.

          High Commission of India in Guyana has been celebrating the International Day of Yoga every year since 2015 in a befitting manner. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic this event was organized virtually last year. To mark the 7th International Day of Yoga, High Commission of India in Guyana, in association with Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre(SVCC), Georgetown and Bank of Baroda (Guyana) Inc., organized an event on 19th June 2021 at the premises of International Academy of the Americas Inc, Georgetown. The event was organized under strict COVID-19 protocols. Hon’ble Hugh Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon’ble Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, H.E. Donald Ramotar, Former President,  resident Ambassadors and High Commissioners  of USA, Canada and Brazil, Commissioner of Police, well known cricketer and former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan and other dignitaries graced the occasion.  Other prominent Guyanese nationals, students from Saraswathi Vidya Niketan and Hindu College and representatives from HSS Guyana were also present during the event. This year’s theme is “Yoga for Wellness” and aptly titled “Be with YOGA, be at HOME”. The High Commission has also held curtain raiser events for this year’s Yoga Day at Kaieteur Falls, Iwokrama and at the Guyana Defence Forces Camp Ayanganna.

           In his welcome remarks, H.E. Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, High Commissioner of India to Guyana said that it is a fact that in these testing times of COVID-19 pandemic, millions across the world have sought benefit from Yoga, Ayurveda, etc. Ayurveda is the science of well-being, herbs and medicines which is also 1000s of years old. In many countries, practicing Yoga has helped people to find solace from the isolation forced upon them due to the COVID-19 restrictions and has helped them deal with mental illnesses like depression while keeping them physically fit. High Commissioner urged all to continue to do Yoga and encourage family and friends to start this healthy practice.

           Yoga is a system of holistic living, having the roots in Indian tradition and culture. Yoga has transcended the barrier of race, religion and culture and has become a global movement. Yoga is essentially a mental and physical discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science for healthy living. 

        The dignitaries in their messages emphasized the importance of Yoga and its relevance in the present  testing times of COVID-19 pandemic.  Pre-recorded messages of Hon’ble Mark Phillips, Prime Minister of Guyana, renowned cricketers of West Indies - Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Richie Richardson, were also played during the event. This was followed by performance of Asanas based on Common Yoga Protocol by all the invitees present at the event under the guidance of the yoga instructor Ms Agnela Patil.

        This year, owing to restrictions related to COVID-19 in place, only a few guests were  invited to participate in the event which was live streamed on the social media accounts of the High Commission and  SVCC and telecast live on prominent television channels of Guyana. 

        Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi said in the United Nations in 2014, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies 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. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”.

19 June 2021