New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Thousands of people performed ‘asanas’ in the national capital on Tuesday to mark the second International Yoga Day.
Over 10,000 people gathered at the Central Park in the heart of Connaught Place and the circular road around it, making it one of the largest yoga shows in the national capital.
Several other locations — including the Lodi Garden, Talkatora Stadium and Nehru Park — also witnessed hundreds of yoga enthusiasts perform yoga early in the morning.
School students, teachers, government employees, political leaders, police and paramilitary officials as well as volunteers from NGOs, all sporting white T-shirts and blue and white tracksuit pants, performed the yoga postures on red and blue mats rolled out on the lawns.
According to the organisers, those who took part included members of the Patanjali Yoga Peeth, Art of Living, Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vidyalaya and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.
The UN General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
The Delhi event, organised by the AYUSH Ministry and the New Delhi Municipal Council, started at 6 a.m. with performances by students. A Common Yoga Protocol followed for 45 minutes till 7.45 a.m.
Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi did yoga along with thousands on the occasion at Connaught Place.
“Yoga brings several kinds of benefits. It’s a great ancient powerful technique,” Naidu said.
“Yoga in essence is the integration of body, mind and intellect with the self, individual with the family, the family with society, society with the nation and the nation with the whole creation,” he added.
The event started with a self defence demonstration by the Central Industrial Security Forces women commandos on ‘Pekiti Tirsia Kali’ — a Filipino martial art.
A performance of ‘Yoga on Wheelchairs’ by NGO Ability Unlimited also won applause.
Wrestler Sangram Singh and Femina Miss India 2014 Koyal Rana shared their experience of yoga and its benefits.
To mark the importance of the Yoga Day, Jamia Millia Islamia(JMI) organised three sessions of Yoga — first at Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi Sports Complex from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and the second at New Girls Hostel for the residents of Hall of Residence (Girls) from 7.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m.
The third session was held at Hall of Residence (Boys) Campus ‘B’ from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
According to a statement from the university, JMI had organised a series of practice sessions for the participants and Yoga enthusiasts.
In an attempt to celebrate the importance of yoga in it’s own way and create awareness among the people, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) organised a exhibition that opened here on Tuesday.
“The depiction of Yoga in these exhibits not represent just the postures (asanas) that modern audiences are familiar with, but the philosophy and spiritual underpinnings of yogic practice since millennia – including the unity of matter and soul, meditation, self-awareness, contemplation, good deeds and firm action,” said the statement.
The 150-odd images are grouped in three different sections: ‘jnana’, ‘dhyana’ and ‘karma’, based on the aspect of yoga they represent.
The images sourced from the IGNCA archives are from collections currently with the British Library, British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Ashmolean Museum in the UK as well as the Cleveland Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, Asia Art Museum and Brooklyn Museum in the US.