SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: On June 18, the Indian Embassy in Sao Tome observed the 8th International Day of Yoga. This was the first IDY ceremony held in Sao Tome following the opening of the Indian Embassy there.
More than 100 yoga practitioners adhered to the standard yoga routine led by yoga instructor Ms. Ines Mestre. The participants included members of the diplomatic corps, local government officials, members of international organisations, and representatives from academic institutions.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Raghu Gururaj stated that, as the land of yoga, it is no surprise that India is leading global efforts to popularize its universal appeal and proven health benefits of yoga. But India does not consider it as its property and that is why it wants to spread it around the world.
He underlined that Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action which is valuable for health and well-being.
“Yoga is not just exercise; it is a way of discovering a sense of unity with oneself, with the world, and with nature.”
The Ambassador explained that when the Prime Minister of India introduced the draft resolution to establish the International Day of Yoga in 2014 at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the resolution was passed by the United Nations with the support of 177 member states, including São Tomé and Príncipe.
Consequently, the UN unanimously proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga (IDY). June 21 is also called the International Day of Non-Violence.
He stated that the first IDY was opened on 21 June 2015 by the Prime Minister of India. The event was recognized and celebrated in 170 countries, including the US, China, and Canada.
Since then, this day has been observed around the world by an ever-increasing group of people who have embraced yoga and acquired the character of a mass movement.
Ambassador further said that to ensure that participants’ interest in practicing yoga does not end with the IDY, but goes beyond, the government of India has created a Common Yoga Protocol, which is a standard model used throughout the world during the celebrations.
The residents of Sao Tome have shown a growing interest in Yoga, due to the efforts of the Indian Embassy in Sao Tome.
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