Seychelles will be joining the rest of the world to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 21 after the United Nations passed an India-sponsored Resolution in December 2014.
To commemorate IDY celebrations the world over, a logo has been designed under the theme ‘Yoga for Harmony & Peace’.
The logo was officially released by the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange and the high commissioner of India Sanjay Panda at a press conference recently in the presence of the principal secretary for culture Benjamine Rose and the delegation of the high commissioner.
To mark the day, several activities have been drawn up in which participants from all walks of life in Seychelles are invited to join in large numbers.
Several yoga-practising institutions in Seychelles have joined hands with this initiative to ensure the celebration of the IDY in Seychelles in a befitting manner. The objective is to encourage people to imbibe yoga as an answer to modern day stress through this ancient yet quintessential heritage of India.
To commence the day, at Stad Popiler there will be an open air yoga session at 8am with about 1000 participants including men, women and children. During the 33-minute session, simple yoga exercises will be performed. A yoga expert from India will anchor the session in cooperation with local instructors.
Participants are advised to come in comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, their yoga mats or plain cotton sheets for the floor, and ensure a gap of half-hour between meals and exercises. The same set of exercises will be performed all over the world on the same day and at the same time, setting a Guinness world record for such a coordinated yoga session across the globe.
Immediately after this, a plaque will be unveiled at a ceremony in the Indian high commission premises dedicating the Vivekananda Yoga Club to the people of Seychelles.
This will be followed by the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs and books on yoga at the Vivekananda Yoga Club. The exhibition will remain open to the public including the youth and school students from June 22-28 between 10am and 3pm.
The final event of the day will be a seminar-cum-yoga demonstration at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS) from 5pm to 6.30pm. A yoga expert from India and prominent yoga practitioners of Seychelles will be facilitating this seminar. This will be an interactive session with the audience who are being encouraged to join in the discussion. The programme will conclude with a yoga demonstration by the yoga instructors and practitioners.
Mr St Ange said that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is very happy because as small as the Seychelles is, we are taking part in an event being organised by the community of nations at large.
“We felt we needed to be part and parcel of the community of nations on that day of yoga,” said the minister.
“It is amazing to think that the whole world will stop on that same Sunday morning to practice yoga,” he added.
Mr St Ange explained that it is important for us to tie up with India to mark this first International Day of Yoga as Seychelles was one of the first five countries to become signatory of the resolution that was passed.
“I’m appealing to the Seychellois…let us all go in the history books, let us mark it, let us enjoy it and let us make it together a success.”
Mr Panda said: “There was an overwhelming support for the Resolution with 177 out of the 193 UN member-states co-sponsoring the Resolution, which was a record and unprecedented in the UN history which is remarkable.”
He also spoke of this concept being very close to the Indian Prime Minister’s heart, being a yoga practitioner himself (Prime Minister Modhi).
“He looks at yoga as an instrument of harmony and inner peace for human beings.”
Mr Panda said that the more Seychellois join in the mass yoga session it would send a wonderful message to the world that “a small country can always think big”.