Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thousands join Yoga Day celebration in Dhaka

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-06-21 09:45:42 BdST


Thousands of people from all walks of life wearing yellow T-shirts have joined the International Yoga Day celebration in Dhaka.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury inaugurated the Indian High Commission-organised celebration at Bangabandhu National Stadium early on Wednesday.

The UN General Assembly approved by consensus an Indian proposal in Dec 2014 to celebrate Jun 21 as the "International Day of Yoga" recognising the benefits of the 5000-year-old practice.

The Day draws a critical link between healthy lifestyles, physical activity and individual and public health.

All Indian missions abroad since then celebrate the Day raising awareness about the ancient tradition for healthcare that combines body, mind and soul. Last year the Day was celebrated in 140 countries all over the world.

In Dhaka, on Wednesday, according to the High Commission, over 4000 people including celebrities joined the celebration and participated in the exercise in chorus. Yoga mats have also been distributed among all the participants.

State Minister for Sports Biren Sikder was also present.

High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla reiterated India’s commitment to help expand the practice of Yoga.

Yoga is considered an effective way to increase strength and flexibility, enhance cardio-fitness, burn calories and relax the mind. It has also been known to help cultivate routine and integrate physical activity into daily life.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the India’s celebration from the Lucknow's Ambedkar Sabha Sthal.

He urged all to make yoga a part of their lives. “Make yoga as necessary in your life as is salt for food,” Modi said, “Yoga is about health assurance. It is not even expensive to practice”.

The World Health Organisation ahead of the Day said it helps prevent lifestyle diseases and reduce the risk of depression.

“Yoga can be practised at all ages,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said.

She said the only requirement is “a commitment to better health and a willingness to gently stretch, exercise and invigorate one’s body and mind”.

“It (Yoga) can help kids get the 60 minutes of daily activity (which is) needed to set up a lifetime of good health. It can help adults reach the 150 minutes of weekly activity needed to stave off non-communicable diseases,” she said.

“For persons aged 65 and above it can help reduce the risk of depression and maintain cognitive functioning”.

Meanwhile, a new yoga app on 'Common Yoga Protocol' was released along with a special edition of Bharat Bichitra on Yoga, published by High Commission of India in observance of the day.

Similar events were also organised by the Assistant High Commissions of India in Rajshahi and Chittagong.

Various other organisations and institutes also held separate programmes to mark the Day, the High Commission said.