Spiritual Luminaries, Celebrity Yogis & UN Dignitaries Celebrate the 3rd Annunal International Day of Yoga at the United Nations (NYC)
Free Public Event Features Interactive Yoga Demos, Sacred Chanting, Meditation, Inspiring Talks, Divine Music, & Much More —Historic Event Honors India’s Ancient Tradition of Yoga.
(By our staff reporter) New York— More than 1,000 people participated in the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations in New York City on June 20th-21st, celebrating the ancient tradition of Yoga brought to the West from India. This historic gathering was led by one of India’s most revered and beloved Spiritual Leaders, His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), Co-Founder of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), along with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Director of the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, and Secretary General of GIWA. Both luminaries, known for their altruism and global interfaith endeavors, have curated some of today’s leading yoga talent to join them in illuminating the myriad gifts yoga brings to the world.
This unprecedented spiritual gathering featured today’s most renowned yoga experts including: Jivamukti’s Sharon Gannon; Off the Mat founder Seane Corn who will join Kirtan Master Jai Uttal; spoken word artist and social media phenom Prince EA. They will be joined by representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as, UN delegates, ambassadors and dignitaries from around the world.
Organized by the Indian Mission to the UN, this FREE event is open to the general public and it’s expected to gather nearly 2000 people, united in the mission to create a more peaceful world through the “true” practice of yoga, which extends beyond the mere physical practice of asanas to every moment and every minute of our lives.
Said HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Pujya Swamiji), “During International Yoga Day, the sun reaches the highest point in the sky, and people from New York to New Zealand will similarly be reaching to the sky with Yogic techniques developed by India’s ancient sages to ease the pains, strains and stresses of daily life. How symbolic then, that the United Nations will be holding this unifying event on its very lawn, for all to participate and appreciate. With so much turmoil, conflict and challenges in our world today, Yoga is the key to a healthier, happier and more harmonious future.”
President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thomson shared that the age old practice of Yoga guides people towards being in harmony with fellow humans and with nature. Pointing out towards the fast-paced ways of the 21st century, Thomson said it is important for us to ensure that we look after ourselves through healthy lifestyles and choices and that which helps us sustain physically and mentally, adding that Yoga connects our bodies with nature and leads us in a better balance with the world around us.
Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said that more than 170 countries have supported the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in recognizing the important role of Yoga in bringing peace and prosperity in the world. He said that not only yoga is restricted to India but the whole world is doing yoga, which shows the importance of our country in the world.
Said Sadhvi Bhagawatiji, “The practice of “yoga” leads automatically to a life in which our choices are ones made in an awareness of unity and oneness. This is what our world needs. As individuals, to overcome our depression, loneliness and numbness, we need to feel connected. As a society, in order to function well, we need to be connected and in harmony. As an international, global world family, we need to realize that we are inextricably connectedYoga, a true realisation of union, could save not only our health, but also our planet. “
Said Sharon Gannon, “The Earth does NOT belong to us—we belong to the Earth.” “A yogi is someone who is striving to live in harmony with the Earth and ALL beings, including humans, animals, forests, rivers, oceans.”
Said Seane Corn, “The time is now for all souls to “wake up” and participate in social change. Let’s take all that we have learned on the mat
– including focus, commitment, resiliency, strength, balance, compassion and love-and bring it out into our world, where it truly matters, and create a world that is free, fair, equal, safe, loving and peace-filled for ALL!”
A beautiful commemorative Yoga Day stamp was released on the occasion with H.E. Peter Thomson, Hon’ble Mr Syed Akbaruddin, Pujya Swamiji, Sadhvi Bhagawatiji, joined by yoga teachers and experts. A beautiful plant was given to the hon’ble diplomats as a symbol of allowing the roots and essence of Yoga keep our lives grounded and centered, allowing our lives to bring health and well being to all.
A very special pledge and water blessing ceremony also took place, bringing together all of the Yoga Masters, teachers and experts to encourage and inspire yoga practitioners and enthusiasts from every corner of the world to lead greener, healthier and more harmonious lives.