WASHINGTON: Yoga enthusiasts in America are planning to celebrate the sixth International Yoga Day this year at their homes as the deadly coronavirus has disrupted life.
“This year, we are celebrating the 6th edition of the International Day of Yoga with the theme ‘Yoga from Home‘,” India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu told PTI ahead of the event on June 21.
For health enthusiasts in the US, popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev is scheduled to conduct a virtual session on common yoga protocol with postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation during an online event organized by the Indian Consulate in Houston in collaboration with various community organisations.
The main virtual event, however, would be streamed live from the Indian House — the residence of India’s Ambassador to the US — in Washington DC.
In the last five years, thousands of yoga enthusiasts from in and around Washington DC had celebrated the International Yoga Day either at the historic National Monument or on the lawns of the US Capitol facing the majestic national mall.
But due to the coronavirus pandemic, that has resulted in restrictions on large public gatherings in Washington DC and the social distancing measures recommended by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the infection, this year the Indian Embassy has decided to take the celebrations to every home though the digital platform.
“As Prime Minister Modi has emphasized yoga is a means to both fitness and wellness. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our daily lives. In this context, yoga has become even more relevant for healthy living. I hope more people will be inspired and adopt yoga in their lives,” Sandhu said.
Yoga is popular in the United States with more than 36 million practitioners, Sandhu said, quoting a study.
Ahead of the International Yoga day, teacher of Indian culture at the Embassy Moksha Raj has been coordinating with various cultural and community organisations as well as health and educational institutions by conducting virtual curtain-raiser programmes.
The Indian Embassy has also started a “My Life My Yoga” video blogging competition.