The largest yoga event in the world outside of India was held on International Yoga Day by Hui Lan Yoga in cooperation with the Jinhua Yoga Association at the Jinhua Sports Center in Zhejiang Province, China.
Despite heavy rain showers, the event attracted 4,000 yoga enthusiasts excited to be part of the historic event, filling the football field from one end to the other. Hui Lan Yoga masters from around the world shared their knowledge of traditional yoga practices, yoga science, and yoga wisdom. The event, part of festivities around the world in 193 countries celebrating the inauguration of June 21st as International Yoga Day, was open at no charge to participants.
The event began with a special video greeting from Zhang Hui Lan (Wai Lana) who shared an inspiring personal message with yoga enthusiasts. Few people in China can hear the term “yoga” without immediately thinking of Zhang Hui Lan, so it is not surprising that Hui Lan is fondly known by so many as the Mother of Yoga to modern China. In 1985, Hui Lan and her television program “Yoga” was welcomed into the homes and hearts of hundreds of millions of Chinese via CCTV1 and 2. Hui Lan’s 30-minute television series aired daily and was so popular it became one of the longest running television series in China’s history, airing uninterrupted for 15 years. In the United States, Zhang Hui Lan’s yoga television series began airing nationwide on public television stations in 1998 and is still airing today—making it the longest-running exercise television series on public television.
Following her message at the Sports Center, Hui Lan’s “Namaste” music video was broadcast to the great appreciation of all attendees. This music video, shot in countries around the world (including China, India, and the U.S.), was also broadcast at the International Yoga Day celebration held in New York at the United Nations Headquarters. “Namaste” played at the conclusion of the United Nations event and was simultaneously broadcast on the giant screen at Times Square to 30,000 yoga practitioners. Both the United Nations event and the Times Square event were broadcast live to audiences around the world through webcast.
After watching and singing along with the music video, all the participants at the event had the opportunity to take part in yoga asana practices, yoga nidra, and yoga meditation. Hui Lan Yoga masters gave talks on aspects of yoga lifestyle, yoga science and yoga wisdom.
On Dec 11, 2014, the United Nations announced June 21st of each year as International Yoga Day. Recently, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Modi jointly participated in the “Meeting of Taiji and Yoga” China-India culture communication activity in Beijing Temple of Heaven Park. Both these events served to greatly enhance the interest and acceptance of yoga by the Chinese people.
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