Dear Yoginis and Yogis,
A very good morning and let me also take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Seventh International Day of Yoga. I am delighted that you have joined us for this early morning Yoga session at India House. On behalf of the Embassy of India in Beijing, I would like to thank all our partners for helping with the organization of this important event.
If there is one thing whose importance has been repeatedly emphasized in the last one year, during which the world has faced up to the menace of COVID-19, it is health and wellness. It is no wonder therefore that the theme of Yoga Day this year is Yoga for Wellness. While there is a global effort underway to develop vaccines and treatments, not only for COVID-19 but also many other afflictions, we should not lose sight of the fact that Yoga offers us a physical as well as a spiritual path to wellness. At a time when our mental faculties are being increasingly bombarded by external factors, Yoga offers us the space to slow down our minds, relieve stress and impart balance to our existence.
Most of you are already experienced practitioners of Yoga and are aware therefore that its benefits go beyond the physical realm in terms of improving flexibility, strength, mobility and balance. I recall what one of the greatest minds on Yoga, Paramahansa Yogananda, once said, and I quote: “Many people think of yoga as just physical exercises — the asanas or postures that have gained widespread popularity in recent decades — but these are actually only the most superficial aspects of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potential of the human mind and soul.” Unquote.
Indeed, the central purpose of the physical aspects of Yoga is to prepare the mind for meditation. So if your are able to go beyond the physical aspects, which obviously make you feel very good in your bodies, and move to the spiritual aspects, you will discover a whole new dimension of yourself. But no matter which aspect you choose to focus on, Yoga will inculcate in you habits of discipline, reflection and detachment, which, if practiced by enough of us, can help build a more mindful, compassionate and spiritual society.
I also want to take a moment and compliment the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre of the Embassy of India, which has been undertaking a series of Yoga outreach events and not just in the run up to this important day. In the coming days, it will be expanding its activities by taking up the important task of certification of Yoga professionals for the purposes of training. More details will be made available by the Centre in the coming days.
For now, let me once again thank all of you for coming this morning. I wish you all a very enjoyable morning.