Piscataway, NJ: A Hot Sunday and even Father’s Day couldn’t stop hundreds of yoga enthusiasts from joining the biggest Second International Yoga Day celebrations held in Piscataway, New Jersey. Hundreds of people cutting across age groups, nationalities and religious backgrounds lined up ahead of time to practice and celebrate this ancient Hindu science and heritage jointly coordinated and organized by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Office of Consulate General of India (NY), VHPA, SEWA, EKAL, Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Isha Yoga Foundation, Vihangam Yoga, Art of Living, Sahaja Yoga and various Yoga Studios and other likeminded organizations
Mrs. Akhila Pai (volunteer, HSS) kicked off the program by welcoming the packed audience on dot at 9:30 AM. A video ‘Namaste’ that showed people across the globe joining together to celebrate Yoga day truly gave a glimpse of ancient Hindu saying of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (Entire World is a Family). Over 600+ people performed yoga in three parallel sessions that were held for adults, kids and senior citizens.
The main session for adults was conducted in the main hall that was packed to its maximum capacity and the entire floor was covered with yoga mats of different colors. People say Laughter is the best medicine; Laughing Yoga by Shri Maheshkant Vasavada from Ahmedabad set the trend and ran a riot of laughter among the participants. Apart from explaining the different forms of laughter and its benefits, this yoga made everyone relax and get familiar with each other and be ready for the next yogic forms to come.
Isha Foundation conducted a guided yoga session in which the participants did many Asanas (yoga postures) that benefit everyone in their daily routine. Jayanthi Shriram conducted this session with a video message from Sadhguru (Head of Isha Yoga).
Vijay Kumar and Lal Mani of Vihang yoga conducted a guided yoga asanas (yoga postures) that can be done at different times during our daily routine and made the participants do simple postures that help them cure common problems like back ache, posture related issues, and stomach related issues.
Vrushali and Anirban from the Art of Living foundation sang devotional songs to relax the participants and did the pranayama exercises. Art of Living volunteers also took entire yoga asana for senior citizens session.
The meditation session by Sahaja Yoga really captivated the interest of the yoga enthusiasts present there. Explaining the relevance of Chakras (power centers in the body), the guided meditation relaxed everyone. The Sahaja Yoga team also conducted a similar meditation session for the kids during the program.
Last but not the least ‘MallaKambh’ (Yoga on the pole) a power packed performance by kids enthralled the people present over there. Small kids as young as five years of age performed acrobatic feats on top of a pole and around it creating gravity defying formations that left everyone present there in a state of awe.
While the adults were doing some serious yoga and meditation the kids were not left behind either. Kids had a blast with yoga sessions by yoga teachers and games by HSS. Eye Yoga that can benefit the kids was also taught along with simple meditation techniques just cut out for kids.
Senior citizen’s chair yoga, breathing and relaxation session along with yoga for relaxing different joints of the human body that can give them pain free days were also performed.
Shri Manoj Mohapatra (Deputy Consul General, Indian Consulate, NY) delivered a congratulatory message on behalf of the government of India for organizing this event. The Deputy CGI mentioned that several community organizations have come together and organizing yoga events across the tri-state in places like Time Square, Airport and community centers. Shri Upendra Chivkula (Commissioner, Utilities, NJ) congratulated the organizers for putting together a great event for the benefit of the humanity. A video message from Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on Second International Yoga Day was shown.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Venkata Raghav (Coordinator, HSS NE Region) stressed the need for everyone to understand Yoga in its entirety and not just as a mere exercise. He said, yoga also involves having a balanced diet, simple life style and not exploiting the nature and also to maintain harmony among all the living beings.
Shri Nimesh Dixit (Community Relations Coordinator, HSS) presented the vote of thanks to all the participants, supporting organizations, sponsors and volunteers for making the event a big success. The participants were treated with a box of fruit after the program.
Ms Margarete said she liked the idea of bringing people together and doing yoga instead of one organization performing it. She also said she missed this event last year for she had no knowledge of the event but will not miss this in future. Gargi Sapre, a college student from Plainsboro, NJ said that it was amazing to be part of this event and it gave her an opportunity to go back to her Hindu roots which always promoted a healthy and simple lifestyle. Not to be left behind even middle school students Jahnavi and Rutuva who took part in the kids yoga sessions said, they felt great doing the yoga postures and the meditation sessions relaxed them and increased their focus.
All the participants were very happy to be part of this great event and all the 600+ audience took a pledge to lead a healthy lifestyle by incorporating yoga into their daily routines. Most of the participant’s personally thanked the organizers for arranging such wonderful program and said that it is amazing to know the richness of this ancient Hindu science of yoga. June 19th being Father’s Day, many dads among the participants said there cannot be a better way to celebrate father’s day than doing yoga and live a healthy life for the happiness of your family.
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