The United Nations proclaimed 21st June as the International Day of Yoga. Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India. The word ‘yoga’ derived from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.
The 5th International Day of Yoga was celebrated on Saturday, 15th June from 6.00 am to 8.00 am at the Independence Square in grand scale. The event was organized by the High Commission of India. Ministry of Culture, Govt. Of Sri Lanka, Tata Motors and eminent Yoga institutes of Sri Lanka partnered with this activity
The event was graced with the presence of Hon. (Dr.) Rajitha Senaratne (Minister of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine), Hon. Gayantha Karunatileka (Minister of Lands & Parliamentary Reforms and Chief Government Whip) and Hon. Palany Thigambaram (Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure & Community Development) as the guests of honour with the esteemed presence of His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu (High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka) and hundreds of yoga enthusiasts from all over Sri Lanka.
The Yoga day celebrations started with a video message from the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. The High Commissioner highlighted that Yoga is an important pillar of the shared common heritage between India and Sri Lanka and further stated about the strong connection between Yoga and Buddhist philosophy. He concluded by stating “Yoga is a unifying force which can bring peace and harmony not only to our bodies and minds but to our societies”.