The celebration of the international event saw over 300 Yoga enthusiasts, including members of the diplomatic corps based in Kigali, Indians, Rwandan and foreign yoga teachers.
The event included several Yoga sessions, a short film on Yoga’s history and a message of the Prime Minister of India, H.E. Narendra Modi on the occasion of the Yoga Day.
Speaking at the event, the High Commissioner of India to Rwanda, Oscar Kerketta said that Yoga brings about harmony between man and nature and is a holistic approach towards health and well-being.
“There is a misconception about Yoga that it is associated with certain religions. Yoga is universal and has nothing to do with religion. People of all religions can practice Yoga to live a healthy life without compromising on their religious beliefs,” says Kerketta.
Kerketta further added that Yoga can be practiced in complementarity with other forms of physical activities like jogging, swimming, aerobics, or any other sports.
The idea of having an International Day of Yoga was mooted by Prime Minister Modi at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014, following which, a resolution was adopted by the United Nations to declare June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution was co-sponsored by 177 nations, which is a record in UN history. This year marks the 5th International Day of Yoga.
Yoga evolved in India more than 5000 years ago and along with Ayurveda has been an integral part of the traditional Indian healthcare system. What separates Yoga from another form of fitness activities is its focus on mind and breathing.
A large number of scientific studies have come up which prove that Yoga and meditation can ward off stress and diseases. Scientists have begun to recognize the beneficial effects of Yoga in dealing with lifestyle and other diseases such as back pain, insomnia, cancer, heart diseases, etc... Yoga enthusiasts also underline the importance of Yoga in dealing with Climate Change. Yoga practitioners become more conscious consumers, which has a positive effect on the environment. Yoga’s goal is to enable one to discover the sense of oneness with the world and nature.