WASHINGTON, D.C.–The 4th International Day of Yoga was celebrated on Saturday June 16, at the iconic US Capitol West Lawn in Washington DC. More than 2500 people from all walks of life participated in these celebrations with fervor and enthusiasm.
The program started with playing of the audio messages from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State of AYUSH Shripad Naik.
Greeting Yoga lovers all over the world, Prime Minister explained Yoga’s role in achieving ‘oneness among mind, body and intellect.’ He also emphasized that Yoga is not just a set of exercises but also a passport to health assurance. External Affairs Minister underlined the role of yoga in relieving stress and called for adopting yoga in daily life.
Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna addressed the gathering. Welcoming the participants, Ambassador Sarna noted that Yoga is widely embraced by the American people as a survey conducted in 2016 showed that there were 36.7 million Yoga practitioners in the U.S.
The participants also included officials and representatives from the State Department, Smithsonian Institutions, World Bank, academic institutions, Think tanks, representatives of various Embassies, local representatives of Indian news media and other key local organizations.
Many leaders from the United States issued proclamations and felicitation messages to support and commemorate the 4th International Day of Yoga and spread awareness about Yoga. These included Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam, Senator Timothy M. Kaine and Congressmen Don Beyer, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Gerald E. Connolly.
A guided Yoga session based on ‘Common Yoga Protocol’ created by Government of India was conducted with the help of Yoga demonstrators. The Yoga session concluded with Sanskrit Shlokas and Shantipath.
The Embassy had organized curtain raiser events, in collaboration with Yoga organizations and Yoga studios, at the India International School, John Hopkins University, Heartfulness Institute in Richmond, Virginia, Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham MD, Chinmaya Mission and Durga Temple in Virginia, North Potomac Community Center.