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Large crowd celebrates yoga day

yogaTo celebrate the International Day of Yoga, a large crowd of locals, expatriates and visitors gathered at the Palais des Sports yesterdayto take part in an early morning exercise.

The physical, spiritual and mental activity was conducted by yoga teacher Aashima Malhotra from India. She was helped by Seychelles yoga association representatives Steve Thelermont and Adriana Auguste.

The Palais des Sports court was full to capacity thus forcing other people to watch the session on the grand stand.

With the place already full before the scheduled starting time, the 45-minute session started 20 minutes later as organisers tried to accommodate all those coming to join.

Everyone was given a T-shirt, a floor exercise mat, water and juice.There was a feeling of intense anticipationbeforeyoga teacher Malhotra actually kicked off the session with different physical, mental and spiritual exercises.

Yoga deals with the body, mind and soul. For the body it protects you from illness and diseases, it clears your mind and makes you think better and the soul makes you a spiritual person and closer to God irrespective of your religious belief.

Among the crowd were ministers, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

Addressing the gathering, the Indian high commissioner Sanjay Panda welcomed all and thanked them for joining in the celebration of yoga.

“As today is also Father’s Day,welcome all fathers who have come down with their children to take part in this event,” he said.

He also thanked all those who have contributed towards organising the second yoga day.

In a message sent by Indian Prime Minister Modi and read by HC Panda, Prime Minister Modiwelcomed all as sisters and brothers of India’s Family.  He said the support and involvement of Seychelles yoga ambassadors last year and once again yesterday,redeems the commitment of India to nurture and promote this ancient discipline and reaffirms yoga as an exemplary manifestation of VasudhaivaKutumbakam- the world as one family.

“Yoga helps us to restore our balance and furnishes us with a much needed sense of clarity. Through its unifying power, we seek completeness and at the same time, a oneness with the world,” the message continued.

For his part, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange wished everybody a happy yoga day.

He asked all present to have fun “concentrating on giving our body, our mind, our soul something to give us time to be our self”.

He added that as it was not expected to draw such a big crowd, next year the event will be held in a bigger hall.

After the 45-minute yoga session, all those who took part looked happy as they congratulated each other. Laureen Johnson, standing outside and drinking some water, said she was happy to have come to such event.

“I feel so happy. I have been well relaxed. At one point during the exercise I felt so relaxed that I slept while lying during the back exercise, only to find that other people were doing other steps and I was still in my sleep relax mood,” she laughed.

“For me this exercise seems better than running and it is very healthy,” saidSamantha Benjamen while rolling up her mat.

“That was very good for an early Sunday morning. It has freshened me up.The relaxation exercises have cleared my brain. I feel it.”

A visitor, Sam Debby from the United States of America who is visiting his mum at Anse Royale, said he was not expecting to see so many people.

“I could not believe it. I have been to larger yoga manifestations in New York but to also see that many people here is fantastic. This morning yoga session was great. I enjoyed it.”

Nicholson Edmond, who came with his wife, said they both enjoyed the session.“More locals should come to such activity. I do not see many of them. I wish to encourage them to come,” he said.

International Yoga Day falls on June 21 and it was celebrated yesterday as it was a public holiday and it was considered a more convenient day for people to take part.

Source : Seychelles NATION

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