Washington, DC – Another feather in the cap of the Indian Embassy here as it hosted the 5th International Day of Yoga (IDY) on Sunday, June 16, 2019 at the iconic Washington Monument in Washington DC.
Welcoming the participants to the Yoga Day celebrations, Indian Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla called Yoga, “an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition,” which represents the “unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being.”
Based on India’s principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means “the world is one family,” Shringla said, “Yoga promotes the message of Peace in the world.”
Quoting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ambassador Shringla said: ”Yoga has evolved as a way to achieve healthy living and combines physical, mental and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony of the body and mind. Its appeal today has truly transcended cultural and linguistic boundaries, and it has become a global phenomenon.”
Stressing the tireless efforts of his team, Shringla thanked Shambhu Hakki, First Secretary, Dr. Moxraj, Teacher of Indian Culture, and his team for leading the yoga session,” adding, “And my other colleagues at the Embassy who have worked tirelessly to make this event a success.”
There were yoga enthusiasts of all ages and from every walk of life at the event. The Indian Embassy in a statement noted the participants included representatives from the White House, US Department of State and other Government agencies, prominent members of the diplomatic community including Ambassadors of Nepal, Mauritius and Myanmar, members of international financial institutions including the World Bank and IMF, cultural and academic institutions, think-tanks, media and the Indian diaspora.
The Embassy statement highlighted that in the run up to this year’s IDY, the Embassy had organized several curtain-raiser events in collaboration with yoga organizations and yoga studios at several places in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Washington DC, “resulting in a record turnout for the Yoga Day celebrations.”
A guided yoga session based on the Common Yoga Protocol was performed by the participants. The session was led by Moxraj, Teacher of Indian Culture at the Embassy of India, along with other yoga volunteers.
Following the IDY event in Washington DC, an Indian Vegetarian Food Festival was organized at the Freer│Sackler, the Smithsonian’s museum of Asian Art, located on the National Mall to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Food connoisseurs in large numbers participated in the vegetarian food festival and savored delicacies from various regions of India. The festival also featured several cultural performances by talented local artists.