GOPIO celebrates International Yoga Day


High Commission of India plans mass yoga session on 21 June

The Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Canberra Chapter, launched the celebration of “International Day of Yoga” week on Sunday, 14 June, ahead of the official day on 21 June declared by the United Nations. The key speakers were Ms Gai Brodtmann MP, Dr Chris Bourke MLA and Mr S K Datta, Dy High Commissioner, High Commission of India (HCI). Many community leaders attended the function.

Mr S K Datta, Dy High Commissioner, HCI spoke about the benefits of yoga and how its practice brings peace of mind. “Yoga is a union of mind, body and soul. It brings about health benefits and reduces our dependence on medicines. The benefits of yoga and pranayama have been universally recognised even by the mainstream medical doctors,” he said.

Gai Brodtmann MP mentioned that she also used to do yoga and would like to see it promoted more, while Dr Chris Burke MLA said he would like to start practising yoga.

President GOPIO Canberra Dr Rakesh Malhotra welcomed the invitees and acknowledged the inaugural address of India’s Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi to the United Nations, and expressed a sense of pride in 21 June being declared International Day of Yoga.

Dr Malhotra mentioned that the long journey of over 5000 years of ancient yoga practices in India in its various forms and flavours underwent a through rationalisation process in around 400 CE by Maharishi Patanjali, who developed a comprehensive philosophy and framework in his compilation called Yoga Sutras. This was subsequently translated in many world languages, and at least six times in English alone. This led to the age of modern yoga, which has been adopted and embraced all over the world.

GOPIO Canberra Executives confirmed that they will celebrate ‘International Day of Yoga’ every year.

The High Commission of India has planned a mass yoga practice in the East/West lawns of old Parliament House in Canberra on 21 June.

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