India is proud that the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga at the suggestion made by Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2014 and since, the age-old knowledge from India is part of the world’s heritage. The science of Yoga is ancient yet timeless and modern. I warmly congratulate the yoga enthusiasts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and SVG Indian Heritage Foundation on the occasion of celebration of 6th International Day of Yoga.

The 6th edition of International Day of Yoga, which comes at a time when the whole world continues to confront its biggest ever challenge to mankind in the form of Covid 19 pandemic and adopt social distancing norms to fight the Corona virus pandemic, has compelled the yoga practioners to turn to home practice of yoga and online yoga resources. The prevailing stress of corona virus pandemic has been taking a great toll on the peace and inner happiness of the human beings and have taken away the sense of deep harmony and values which once pervaded the lives of men and women in society. These are unprecedented times and thus the significance of yoga in such a pandemic situation is of a huge impact and a powerful tool to deal with the current stress of uncertainty and isolation, as well as to maintain physical well-being.

Considering the grave circumstances the corona virus pandemic has brought, Govt. of India has decided to celebrate the 6th edition of International Day of Yoga with the theme :
‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’

Yoga is derived from two roots i.e. CONNECTION AND CONCENTRATION. It connects physical health with mental balance and emotional calm and it promotes concentration and focussed attention. Renowned Sage Patanjali, who compiled the first Yoga philosophy prior to 400CE, defines Yoga as an ability to control one’s own random thoughts and achieve a stillness, a calmness that creates inner harmony.

Yoga is a holistic system in which the mind and body act in unison and get completely rejuvenated, as physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation help in overall well-being of an individual. Yoga goes beyond castes, religions, regions and borders. It is essentially a spiritual discipline aimed to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a holistic health, happiness, harmony and management of many life style-related disorders such as diabetes, obesity and hyper tension. Yoga is a medium to connect us, with ourselves, our environment, the community and the universe. Yoga has something to offer to everyone, be it a hopeful child, an aspiring youth, a parent, or senior citizen. Yoga achieves oneness through oneness and brings about oneness among the mind, body and intellect. In India, IDY has become the greatest mass movement for public health. In fact, Govt. of India has made yoga a pillar of preventive healthcare.

Lord Krishna in the Bhagawad Gita- which is a 700-verse Sanskrit scripture- written over 5000 years ago- talks of three yogas- Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. These three dimensions – Action, Knowledge and Devotion- are more relevant today in all walks of life.

We all know that prevention is better than cure. While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in these times. Today we realise how important and effective our traditions and traditional systems of medicine are. The Indian way of Namaskar (Greetings), Yoga and following traditional systems of medicine in our day-to-day life have shown the path to the world how we can not only stop spread of virus by adopting our ancient and traditional practices, but also at no cost or low cost keep ourselves happy and healthy.

The Yogic lifestyle is all about living consciously and sustainably. The occasion is also used to raise global awareness about the need to use yoga products made from jute, cock, rubber and other eco-friendly methods to ensure sustainability.

In the words of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, ‘Yoga gives peace of mind. People who are at peace with themselves are at peace with others too. Such people build harmonious nations and such nations build a harmonious world’. The IDY is a true testament to the power and global popularity of Yoga to bring people together from across the world. It is a festival of oneness, harmony and unity among the international community.

Be part of IDY-2020. Start a journey towards good health and well-being and join us live with family on Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 0700 hrs. (SVG standard time) at https://youtu.be/_AHDmVw-LO being organized by High Commission of India in association with Indian Council for Cultural Relations and SVG Indian Heritage Foundation.