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First Yoga Day to be held across France, UNOG

International yoga festival concludes

Geneva: The first International Day of Yoga (IDY) will be observed tomorrow here at the UNOG and in Paris and other cities across France and Monaco.

The event here will be attended by 1,500 guests with Acting Director-General of UNOG Michael Moller as chief guest.

“A yoga guru from the Art of Living would be giving a lecture-cum-demonstration on yoga according to the common yoga protocol sent by the AYUSH ministry in Delhi,” said Ajit Kumar, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

The Art of Living, Isha Foundation, Shivannada Group, Iyengar Foundation and other yoga associations are partnering with the Indian mission in what is expected to be the largest yoga demonstration ever in the Palais des Nations here.

In the run-up to the June 21 event, the Indian mission has organised a number of events in Geneva including a photo exhibition on ‘Yoga for All, Yoga for Health’ during the World Health Assembly last month as well as a flash yoga demonstration at the iconic ‘Broken Chair’ monument in Geneva, “to raise awareness about the International Day of Yoga as well as the benefits of practising Yoga”.

The UN General Assembly, at the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopted a unanimous resolution last year that declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, co-sponsored by 177 countries.

“We hope to have a successful IDY in the picturesque surroundings of UN in Geneva,” said Kumar.

The Indian Embassy in France is also organising 26 events across cities in France and Monaco to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga.

In Paris, the IDY is being organised at some of the most iconic venues of the city. The main public event will take place at the Grand Halle de la Villette – one of France’s pre-eminent cultural centres.

The IDY coincides with the Fête de la musique, and as a fitting tribute to the occasion, the event at the Grand Halle de la Villette will commence with a concert of Indian classical music, followed by yoga and meditation sessions by experienced teachers, set to the soothing strains of classical music. More than 3,000 people have already registered for this event on the website created by the embassy.

Another high-visibility event in Paris would be the yoga demonstrations on-board the Bateaux-Mouche boat as it makes its way past all the landmark monuments of Paris on the Seine.     Yoga demonstrations are also being organised at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Synchronised ‘asanas’ by 2,000 people dressed in white, at the foot of the most-visited monument in the world are bound to create greater awareness of andi nterest in yoga.

Overseas branches of Indian associations and local Indophile associations in Strasbourg, Normandy, Marseilles, Toulouse, Nantes, Rennes, Gretz, Bourges, Nice, La Rochelle, Morlaix, Avignon, Angers and Monaco have also organised IDY celebrations in collaboration with the mission, as have local associations in the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique.

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