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The Embassy of India in Israel presents: International Yoga Day in Israel
On June 21 the port of Tel Aviv will celebrate Yoga, along with other cities in Israel. Dr. Anju Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India in Israel, explains what it is all about

Dr. Anju Kumar

On June 21, The Indian embassy in Israel will hold several events in order to celebrate International Yoga Day. The major event well take place atTel Aviv port and other events will take place in Haifa, Ramat Hasharonas well as in other cities in Israel. We met Dr. Anju Kumar, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India in Israel, in order to understand what it is all about.


-               Dr. Kumar, What is the purpose of the event and how do you intend going about it?

21 June has been declared as the International Day of Yoga as a result of adoption of aUN resolution, proposed last year by the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi. The resolution was co-sponsored by 177 countries. During his maiden addressto the United Nations, PM Modi said,"For us in India respect for nature in an integral part of spiritualism. We treat nature's bounties as sacred. Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, harmony between man and nature, a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature".

The government hasdesiredthat International Yoga Day should be celebrated all over the world in a befitting manner. We started to work enthusiastically on this event about 5 months ago. We contactedYoga organizations in Israel and were happy to learn that there are more than 1,000 yoga teachers in Israel, 800 of them belong to the Yoga Teachers’ Association of Israel and about 200 of them belong to other groups by types of yoga - Iyengar, Sivananda, Ashtanga and so on. With the help of the Israeli organizations and with the support of Bhrigu Yoga organization, which came from India, we were able to plan the events.


-               What will these events include?

We approached the Tel Aviv Municipality and theTel Aviv port, and organized a day-long event at the port, which begins at 7.00 in the morning until 10.00 pm in the night. The program includes Yoga Sessions, lectures and demonstrations on Yoga, Ayurveda, Well-Being, sun salutations and traditional Indian performances.There will alsobe other interesting items, like Acro Yoga and Yoga for Kids.

Furthermore, because of local financial sponsors, we will be able to provide T-shirts, soft drinks, Indian cultural performance, and in general, to create a pleasant atmosphere.We also expect several Israeli celebrities who love Yoga to come and participate in our event. The Ambassador of India will honor Ms. Rachel Solberg, a Yoga veteran who wasone of the pioneers in the field of Yoga in Israel.


-               What do you plan to do in other cities in Israel?

We contacted all municipalities in Israel, and those which responded, willorganize simultaneous 40-minute yoga sessions in several elementary schools in their jurisdiction. The school sessions are being coordinated by the Embassy in cooperation with Yoga Teachers’ Association and Municipal and school authorities. We believe that these lessons can be a good learning experience for children and may stimulate in them a desire to practice Yoga and enjoy a holistic well-being. 

As a prelude to IYD, we have organized a Yoga evening at the residence of the Ambassador of Indiaon June 18 where we expect the participation of diplomatic community and Israeli society from different walks of life.

A yoga event is also being organized at the University of Tel Aviv. There will be an open event on June 17.  In addition, events will be held in rehabilitation centers primarily in Haifa, and special Yoga classes in all centers of the Iyengar Yoga Association in Israel.


-Personally, do you practice yoga?

Absolutely. On a daily basis.


We have seen that companies are sponsoring the International Yoga Day events in Israel. How does Yoga tie-up with business?

Yoga is an integral part of life. Yoga teaches you to harmonize with the surroundings;to create economic growth with the objectives of sustainability. Grow not at the expense of nature, but in harmony; to be motivated by need and not by greed. In this sense, it is imperative for the business world to have responsibility to the community and to the world. Tech Mahindra, for example, not only contributed to events in Israel, but also helped develop the global Portal of International Yoga Day, launched by the Prime Minister of India:

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that says union. If there is harmony there is no conflict. That's the message we're trying to bring to the world, concludes Dr. Kumar.

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