International Yoga Day 2020 in Hong Kong

The Consulate General of India in Hong Kong celebrated the 6th IDY – on-site at Asia Society Hong Kong Center’s Jockey Club Hall, and online with live-streaming on Facebook and YouTube. Along with Guest of Honour, Hon’ble Caspar Tsui Ying Wai, Secretary for Home Affairs, Government of Hong Kong SAR, the event was also graced by four Consuls-General attending – Austria, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Qatar.

With restricted numbers at the venue (as per HK’s current public gathering regulation) the celebration had over 800 persons joining it online live.

Ms. Priyanka Chauhan, Hon Consul General of India to Hong Kong and Macau has spoke extensively on International Yoga Day and value of Yoga in life. Here is the link of the complete speech:

Celebration of 6th International Day of Yoga: Speech by Ms. Priyanka Chauhan

Attendees participated with enthusiasm in the demonstration of the Common Yoga Protocol, led by Dr. Davender Singh, Teacher of Indian Culture at the Consulate General of India in Hong Kong.

Yoga in a layman’s language is known as a very popular exercise form to keep oneself fit and flexible albeit the Asanas it abounds. But this in a way is an incorrect interpretation of an immensely meaningful phenomenon which has been a part of our age old tradition. The word Yoga  finds its roots in Sanskrit and it etymologically means “union”. The union of our body and its consciousness with that of nature or the universe.

Our body functions in tune with the nature around us or universe as we wish to address it, the cosmic happenings in the universe have manifold impact on our body and its functions. Yoga as such is that union which helps our mind and body to function in harmony with the universe and have a healthy life. “Yoga is like music, the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul to create the symphony of life”says the famous yoga icon Sri BKS Iyengar.

Yoga in today’s world has become a cult, people all over the world are practising this wonderful form in ways they know for their well being. It is  sad to see though how a handful have made it commercial for their own benefit whereas there are a few more who believe yoga can be learnt through crash courses either from the nearest practitioner they know or by going online which can earn them a certificate to show. Such a profound practice cannot be mastered in a few hours time. It takes proper learning and regular practice to become a pro.

However on the brighter side there are practitioners who actually know the practice and propagate it in its unadulterated form. Our country India, the origin of yoga, somehow sees just a part of such people who are aware of our roots and its cultural values which have very logical and scientific reasons behind each one of them. Expressing similar views Mrs Sandhya Jane, a corporate personnel,author and a student of Sri BKS Iyengar and a yoga teacher herself says “ while studying and working in the USA, I saw how Sri Iyengar has taken yoga to almost every home there in a matter of a few years. It’s sad to know that Indians adapted yoga only after the Americans made it popular. I hope we all would trust our ancient knowledge in yoga Ayurveda our lifestyle and even the science behind our customs and rituals and adopt them into our day to day life”

To promote such a valuable spiritual heritage of our rich culture our Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi has called up all the nations worldwide to celebrate 21st of June as International Day of Yoga every year. This was approved by the UNO in the 69th session of the General Assembly in December 2014. Since then this day is celebrated all over the major countries with enthusiasm and sincerity. Hong Kong as well has been following suit since the last six years without fail.

There are about 26 active yoga practitioners across Hong Kong who come together every year to showcase their caliber in large gatherings as such encouraging even the lay people to participate learn and know more about this enriching practise called Yoga for their overall holistic development. The Indian Consulate in Hong Kong has been working diligently to bring people together on the International Day of Yoga by organizing mass celebrations all these years.

This year even amongst such restrictions owing to the pandemic Covid-19 Hong Kong could fortunately put up a positive show at the Asia Society through webcast. Practitioners and people from various nationalities and backgrounds participated virtually from their homes staying true to this year’s theme “Yoga at home, Yoga with family”. The occasion was graced by Smt Priyanka Chauhan, the consul general of HK with the guest of honor Mr Tsui Ying Wai (hon’ble Home Secretary). The event started with the ritual of lamp lighting followed by the welcome speech from Smt Priyanka Chauhan and a brief address by our PM Narendra Modiji. The event also saw a yoga demonstration with music performed by two school girls. However the main highlight of the event was the demonstration of basic yogasanas (yoga poses)by Dr Davendra Singh, a teacher of yoga and Indian culture at the Indian Consulate for over a decade, for all the guests participating virtually.

The outbreak of Covid-19 since last few months has shown how important it is to have a healthy living and build a good immunity. Practicing yoga regularly helps build these two qualities.The WHO says “more active people for a healthier world”. So people head out with your yoga mats and throw yourself into nature to experience the healthy union of body and mind with universal consciousness. Again in the words of the great yoga guru Sri Iyengar “ It is through the alignment of the body you discover the alignment of mind ,self and intelligence.”

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