The Indian Embassy in Argentina put on a host of celebrations and commemorative events last week to mark International Yoga Day (June 21), spreading the word about the benefits of the ancient practice both offline and online.
The main celebration was held last Sunday, with an event featuring art, music and dance performances broadcast live from the Indian Embassy. There was also a unique live stream from Boca Juniors’ famous La Bombonera stadium, where yoga fans showed off their moves from the club’s pitch. Ambassador Dinesh Bhatia participated in the celebrations, underlining during the broadcast the benefits of yoga and its importance to many during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, the Embassy hosted a number of online sessions, discussions, activities and celebrations in the week leading up to International Yoga Day, all of which have been recorded and are available to be watched again at any time via www.diadelyoga.com.ar and the Embassy's social media accounts, such as Facebook and YouTube.
Yoga is an ancient practice that has its origins in India. For many, it is an invaluable tool against stress, anxiety and for controlling emotions. During the coronavirus pandemic, the art has become even more crucial – for tens of thousands of Argentines it has become an ideal ally against isolation, since it can be easily practiced at home, as well as outdoors, alone or in groups.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led celebrations back in India, described yoga as “an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition” and hailed its positive impact.
“It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.”
Yoga is now such a global phenomenon that in 2014, the 193 members of the United Nations, and with the consensus of 177 co-sponsoring countries, approved a proposal to declare 21 June as "International Day of Yoga.” Since then, massive practices take place around the world in over 190 countries each year, with India acting as the main centre of the celebrations.
by James Grainger & Michael Soltys