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4th International Day of Yoga in Germany

4th International Day of Yoga in Germany

The celebrations for the 4th International Day of Yoga were organized by the Embassy of India in Berlin in association with partner yoga institutes on June 21, 2018 at Alexanderplatz in Berlin.  

The United Nations in December, 2014 adopted June 21 as the International Day of Yoga (IDY) recognizing ancient Indian science’s holistic approach to health and well-being. India’s resolution in the UN was co-sponsored by a record number of 177 member States, including Germany. The first IDY was observed world over on June 21, 2015. In Berlin, the IDY was celebrated at the iconic Brandenburg Gate in 2015, at Park am Gleisdreieck in 2016 and the third IDY was celebrated in 2017 in two phases – a morning session was held on a cruise boat on River Spree that covered iconic places in Berlin and the evening celebrations were held in the Embassy.   

Yoga is not merely a system of physical exercise but a holistic approach to complete well-being. By taking Yoga to different age groups, one can contribute to the development of physical and mental health for stronger communities. The observance of International Day of Yoga seeks to reinforce this message for every individual. The event this year saw a good participation by members of the Indian Community, Yoga enthusiasts in Germany and friends of India. The partner Yoga institutions for Embassy of India in this initiative were the Art of Living, Sri Sri School of Yoga, Isha Foundation, Sivananda Yoga Centre, World of Yoga and German Academy for Traditional Yoga.  

The high point of this year’s celebration of IDY in Germany was the participation of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India. Minister Pradhan, an ardent practitioner of Yoga himself, participated in the Common Yoga Protocol and also spoke about the benefits of Yoga and its importance in daily life. This was a rare opportunity for the Indians in Germany to do Yoga with their own Minister. The event was moderated by Ms. Anika Lehmann, a German TV and film actress by profession and a Yogi by passion. The highlights of the event were the Yoga Day address from Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, the soulful rendition of Shanti Mantras (peace chants) and the message of peace and harmony through Yoga. 

As a prelude to the celebration of the 4th International Day of Yoga, the Embassy had taken the initiative to host free Yoga classes in collaboration with well-known and active Berlin based Yoga organizations from May 2018 onwards.  

A lecture titled Yoga and Ayurveda by Dr. Sundara Raman was organized on 14th June, 2018. As a Curtain Raiser to the celebration of 4th International Day of Yoga, the Mission had organised Yoga workshops for School students at the Konigin Luise Gymnasium in Erfurt.  The 4th International Day of Yoga was an opportunity to create greater awareness in Germany about the unique power of Yoga to promote the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being.

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