Some 80 yoga enthusiasts joined International Yoga Day celebrations held on 18 June at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Centre for Indian Culture in Tashkent with support from the Embassy of India and the UN Office in Uzbekistan.
The Yoga Day celebrations kicked off with welcome remarks from the Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr. Vinod Kumar and UNFPA Representative in Uzbekistan Ms. Mieko Yabuta. Among those invited to the event was the famous Uzbek actress Lola Eltoyeva. They emphasized the benefits of yoga for the spiritual growth and health of people around the world as well as the importance of this sort of events that advocate for healthy lifestyles, which is one of the UN’s key tasks.
The festivities included a yoga session, which was an opportunity to perform various asanas and immerse oneself in the ancient spiritual practices. Those gathered were then treated to a special post-yoga meal considered to have significant health benefits.
Recognizing the universal appeal of yoga, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as International Yoga Day. The day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of this practice.
Over 200 men, women, children and elderly people came together at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent on 21 June to celebrate the first-ever International Yoga Day and engage in an exercise of physical, mental and spiritual harmony and peace.
Organized by the Embassy of India and the Lal Bahadur Shastri Center for Indian Culture with assistance from the UN Office in Uzbekistan, the event follows the proclamation by the UN of 21 June as International Yoga Day in December last year.
The draft of the resolution commissioning International Yoga Day was proposed by India and approved by a record number (175) of member countries, which highlights the importance and the many benefits of yoga for spiritual and physical wellness. “By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in his International Yoga Day message. “On this first-ever International Day of Yoga, let us see the benefits of this practice in terms of individual well-being as well as our collective efforts to improve public health, promote peaceful relations and usher in a life of dignity for all.”
Prior to the yoga sessions, the crowd listened to opening remarks by Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Vinod Kumar, Director of the Center for Indian Culture Manju Singh, and Director of the Bunyodkor Stadium Vahid Zakirov. The yoga sessions were joined by Uzbek pop stars Gulbahor Sulaimonova, Shakhlo Akhmedova and Lola Yuldasheva.
Later in the day, the Embassy of India honored the winners of a juried banner exhibition put together at the stadium as part of yoga day celebrations in Tashkent.