June 21, 2018
Brussels, Belgium / Bengaluru, India
Prisons, schools, police academies, naval bases, shopping malls…millions of yoga enthusiasts gather in 150 countries to celebrate yoga with The Art of Living.
Even as Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of The Art of Living raised the happiness quotient with a powerful, insightful yet witty address on Yoga at the European Parliament, Yoga fervour took over millions from over 150 countries as part of The Art of Living’s #promisetoyoga campaign, from prisons to shopping malls, from naval bases to police academies, from schools to heritage sites.
The European Parliament in partnership with the Indian Embassy (Belgium) and The Art of Living Foundation invited Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to lead a special yoga session on the International Day of Yoga, at the Yehudi Menuhin Space inside the Parliament. Along with the Indian Minister for External Affairs, Ms. Sushma Swaraj, MPs, officials from the European Commission, the European External Action Service and other dignitaries attended the event. The session was a blend of various Yogic techniques comprising of Asanas, breathing exercises and meditation for inner peace and wellbeing.
Addressing 250 parliamentarians and embassy officials, Gurudev highlighted the critical role of Yoga in alleviating depression and aggression from Society, “The two ills of our society aggression and depression need to be tackled and there is no better way to tackle it than through yoga.”
“Though born in India it belongs to the whole world,” Gurudev said earlier in an Amsterdam event, “Let’s knock on every door – in Europe, depression is a significant problem and yoga can help people come out of depression and heal this – let’s wish for the world to be a better place for future generations to come.”
Gurudev also launched the Yoga Day celebrations in Finland at the House of Nobility in Helsinki on the 18th of June. IDY celebrations will continue through the week, with Gurudev leading Munich through a Yoga and Meditation session on the 23rd.
Marking the 4th International Day of Yoga with gusto, the Art of Living organised multiple events across the country and the world to celebrate the spirit of Yoga. Shri D V Sadananda Gowda, Union minister and Shri P C Mohan, MP were the Honourable Chief Guests for the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore, Karnataka.
Thousands of police professionals, prisoners, navy officials, government officers, participated in Art of Living’s International Day of Yoga celebrations around the world. Amongst the many programs was a special program conducted by Art of Living teacher Sarita Bajpai for Special task force of the Indian Air Force, deputed for anti-Naxal operations in Raipur, Chattisgarh.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad, over 2000 police officers participated in the Yoga program at the Police Academy; while down-south Bangalore saw about 3500 Army officers and Jawans rolling out their Yoga mats. The International Day of Yoga, also saw celebrations atop INS Garuda in Kerala.
Not just the security forces, but prisoners too formed a significant part of the celebrations with Yoga programs being conducted across 23 prisons in Jharkhand. In Jharkhand, over 1000 inmates underwent Art of Living’s Prison Smart Program in the run up to International Day of Yoga, besides multiple yoga and meditation sessions being conducted in jails across the country.
In India, Art of Living also organised Sri Sri Yoga programs in collaboration with French Sports goods retail giant, ‘Decathlon’, across their stores in Delhi.
Globally, the International Day of Yoga witnessed an astounding participation across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and more. In Amsterdam alone more than 3000 people, one of their largest gatherings ever, attended Gurudev’s event on 17th June.