THE First International Day of Yoga was celebrated on June 21 in the United States in many cities, including in the capital Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco. Thousands of people participated in these celebrations with fervor and enthusiasm.
In Washington, the event was held at Sylvan Theater Stage on the prestigious National Mall, next to the National Monument. The event was attended by more than 1,500 people from all walks of life.
Apart from the Indian Ambassador Arun K. Singh (top photo) and officials of the embassy, Nisha Biswal (second photo), Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Department of State, Matt Nosanchuk, Director for Outreach, National Security Council, Peter Mamacos, Director of Multilateral Relations, Department of Health, and Miss America, Nina Davuluri (third photo), addressed the gathering. The participants also included officials and representatives from the White House, State Department, Smithsonian Institutions, National Dance Therapy Association, World Bank, academic institutions, Think Tanks and other key organizations. Carrie Trybulec, Director of Gandhi Memorial Center anchored the event.
Many leaders from the United States issued proclamations and felicitation messages to support and commemorate the First International Day of Yoga and spread awareness about Yoga. These included Governor of Maryland, Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor of Virginia, Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor of Massachusetts, Charles D. Baker, Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of Irvine, Steven S. Choi, Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, and Mayor of Cambridge, David P. Maher. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced a resolution in the Congress in support of the International Yoga Day.
The Indian Embassy presented this event in collaboration with ‘Friends of Yoga’, a group of organizations which support and promote Yoga and community organizations to celebrate the First International Day of Yoga. The event presented guided Yoga sessions based on ‘Common Yoga Protocol’ video created by Government of India. Yoga organizations also presented Yoga-related activities to highlight various facets of Yoga. Local Yoga studios from Washington DC also participated in the event. Indian Flautist Deepak Ram and American Percussionist John De Kadt collaborated to present music performance during the event. Indian dance was also presented in Yoga form.
Following Government of India’s initiatives and plans for celebration of June 21 as the ‘First International Day of Yoga’, Embassy has been organizing various yoga related curtain-raiser events to welcome and promote the First International Day of Yoga. In late April, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar kick-started this series by a Talk on ‘Nurturing Peace Through Meditation’. The Embassy hosted Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Talk on ‘Relevance of Yoga in Modern Life’. The Embassy further collaborated with Yoga organizations in the region to present events at the Capitol Hill, University of Maryland, World Bank, Chinmaya Mission, Durga Temple, Rajdhani Temple and other places. On the eve of the International Day of Yoga, the Embassy collaborated with other organizations to present Yoga events at John Hopkins University in Washington DC and Annapolis in which Mayor of Annapolis, Mike Pantelides, participated. On June 22, the Embassy will be collaborating to organize a Yoga event on Capitol Hill.