When thousands of people practice the ancient Indian art to celebrate the International Day of Yoga, an uncommon calm is scheduled to embrace the frenetic “Crossroads of the World”, the city’s Times Square, on June 20, this year’s Summer Solstice Day.
Isha Foundation founder and spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, diplomats and UN officials will attend the Yoga Day celebrations organised by Indias Permanent Mission to the UN on June 20 and 21.
The Times Square community event will likely be the biggest Yoga Day celebration outside India. The day-long series of seven events that run from 7 am to 8.30 p.m. will stretch over several city blocks.
Celebration organised by the Times Square Alliance brings together 30 yoga studios ranging from the Iyengar and Bikram institutions to Sonic Yoga and mang’Oh Yoga. “Yoga unites us with the universal flow and connects us with our own personal rhythms,” Douglass Stewart, co-founder of Solstice in Times Square, said in a statement.
“As the sun climbs to its highest point and is suspended in the sky for the longest period, it provides us with a vital force that sustains all of life, giving us a focal point and uniting our purpose to achieve our highest ambitions.” Last year over 30,000 people participated in the Times Square event.
India’s Consul General Riva Ganguly Das has brought together 17 organisations in six states to reach out to the American community with the message of yoga. Community organisations across six states in northeast United States are holding 30 events to observe Yoga Day.
The organisations will be hosting special Yoga sessions in schools, temples as well as at the J F K International Airport and Newark Airport.
A special yoga day celebration will also be commemorated at the Kresge Auditorium of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.
Another important celebration will be in Boston where the South Asian Arts Council is organising an observance at the historic Hall of Flags in the State House, the seat of Massachusetts state government on Beacon Hill, on June 23. The community celebrations started off Friday with events at two schools in the New York suburb of Freeport that was organised by the Hindu Swyam Sevak.
On Saturday, it was the Queens Museum’s turn to hold the celebration in association with the Indian Business Association, in front of the city landmark Unisphere, a 37-metre stainless steel globe. A unique feature of the community celebrations this year will be Yoga Day events at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York and Newark Liberty Airport on June 21.
On June 19, New England International Day of Yoga will be celebrated at the Kresge Auditorium of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Celebrations are also planned for Columbus and Cleveland in Ohio and Hershey in Pennsylvania. Several Indian organisations are to take the celebrations to schools in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut states.
The first International Yoga Day was commemorated at the UN with aplomb last year.
In December 2014, the UN General Assembly had adopted a resolution with a record number of 177 co-sponsoring member states to establish the International Day of Yoga to be commentated every year on June 21.