Thousands of people are celebrating the International Day of Yoga today (Jun 21). In Brasília, the date was celebrated with an open-for-all class with over 500 teachers and instructors outside the Museu da República downtown.
The event was promoted by the embassy of India. Festivities were also held in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Piracicaba and Atibaia (in São Paulo).
“Yoga brings with it a number of rewards, improves health, helps boost our performance in the workplace, and ensures of peace of mind,” said diplomat A. Koventhan, in charge of business at the Indian embassy in Brasília. Koventhan, who opened the class, noted that the International Day of Yoga was created by the UN Assembly in 2014, when a proposal brought forward by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi was approved.
Federal District Secretary for Tourism Vanessa Mendonça, who was also at the class opening, said she hopes Brasília becomes the country’s capital of yoga. The Federal District is home to thousands of yogis, she pointed out.
“Yoga is the country’s biggest mass movement [benefiting] public health,” the diplomat said. He noted that the Health Ministry has approved ten yoga-based initiatives with public hospitals. This should offer everyone “a [practice] that brings harmony with the environment in which we live—be it a hopeful son, a young aspirant, a parent, or elders,” Koventhan said.
Koventhan said that “it brings pride to India,” where yoga was born, that millennia-old art form is practiced and followed in over 200 countries. Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda made yoga popular in the West, he went on to point out.