At the crack of dawn on a regular Sunday, most people would still be in bed paying off their sleep debts for the work week. However, June 19 was no ordinary one in some parts of the world, as fitness enthusiasts woke up early to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
More than 700 members of the public streamed into Home of Athletics on Sunday to take part in a mass yoga workout. Photo: Sport Singapore
More than 700 members of the public, young and old, streamed into Home of Athletics on Sunday to take part in a mass yoga workout, co-organized by ActiveSG and Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir.
The mass workout was held to increase public awareness about yoga, which is a physical, mental and spiritual practice originating in India.
“We see yoga as a form of sport and it’s also one of our mottos to promote healthy living,” said Gilbert Tay, ActiveSG assistant director.
“So we worked with the organizer (Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir) and based on the fact that June 21 is the International Yoga Day, we thought that this is actually a good opportunity for the two parties to come together.”
Members of the public take part in a mass yoga workout. Photo: Sport Singapore
Tay was also heartened by the reception of the event and said: “Personally, I never thought that yoga has such a big reach and I think we can do more than today.”
Founder and patron of Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir, Atul Deshpande, echoed Tay’s sentiments and felt “quite fortunate” to have a good turnout for the two-hour session.
“What we’re happy (about) is that everybody (who turned up) participated in the programme and they were doing it actively.”
The 53-year-old was hopeful that the participants would be “inspired to practice yoga for the rest of their lives and develop all the benefits of yoga”.
The International Day of Yoga was declared internationally and recognised by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014, and it will be observed annually on June 21. Photo: Sport Singapore
Among the participants were NTU students Ngai Kuo Xian and Siau Wen Hui, who turned up with three other friends. Both students found out about the event through their friends and the ActiveSG website.
For Siau, the convenience of the location was incentive. “It’s actually quite near my house, so it’s just a 15-minute bus ride, so I was thinking why not, and it’s together with my friends.”
“It’s because my friends are coming also, and I haven’t been doing yoga for very long and I just thought I’ll just come and do some exercise,” added Ngai.
The International Day of Yoga was declared internationally and recognised by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014, and it will be observed annually on June 21. This year’s celebration marks the event’s second anniversary.