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Celebration of the 10th International Day of Yoga in Nepal

In 2014, the United Nations designated 21 June as the International Day of Yoga on the basis of a draft resolution moved by the Government of India and endorsed by a record 175 member states.

In his message addressed to world leaders including Prime Minister of Nepal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined that “In the decade gone by, what began as a Resolution by the UN General Assembly, has grown into a global movement promoting health and well-being. Yoga is today embraced by all cultures and all continents of the world.” 

To celebrate the 10th edition of the International Day of Yoga, the Embassy of India in Kathmandu and the Consulate General of India in Birgunj organised a series of engaging events across 10 cities and municipalities in Nepal including Kathmandu, Pokhara, Lamjung, Lumbini, Janakpur, Chitwan, Birgunj, Hetauda, Gaur and Pokhariya. 

In keeping with this year’s theme of “Yoga for Self and Society”, Embassy of India organised two curtain raiser events including a Yoga demonstration at the revered Pashupatinath temple and a lecture-cum-demonstration for the girls of Maiti Nepal in Kathmandu on 7 June 2024. 

On 19 June 2024, the Embassy of India in Kathmandu organised a Yoga and meditation practice for more than 450 participants on the banks of Lake Phewa in Pokhara, underscoring Yoga’s role as a bridge between human consciousness and nature.

On the same day, the Embassy also organised a yoga demonstration and free health consultation with Ayurvedic practitioners, focussing on the health benefits of Yoga and Ayurveda, for the students of Pokhara University. The Vice Chancellor of Pokhara University and several senior professors also participated. 

On 20 June 2024, the Embassy of India in Nepal organised Yoga demonstrations at three iconic landmarks of Pokhara – the Sarangkot view point that offers panoramic views of the Annapurna mountain range; the Shiva Temple at Pumdikot which brings together a spiritual ambience with majestic views; and the Shanti Stupa situated on the picturesque Anadu Hill.

Experienced Yoga instructors led the participants through a series of asanas, pranayama and meditation techniques, highlighting the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of Yoga. 

The Embassy of India also organized a large-scale Yoga demonstration for more than 900 participants at the Lumbini Development Trust, Lumbini on 20 June 2024. The event was attended by Chief Minister of Lumbini Jokh Bahadur Mahara and other provincial leaders.

CM of Lumbini thanked the Embassy of India for organising the significant Yoga event at the birthplace of Lord Buddha and for strengthening India- Nepal cultural ties. Ambassador Naveen Srivastava emphasized on the universal appeal of Yoga and its importance in fostering a healthy, mindful and sustainable lifestyle. 

The centre-piece of yoga day celebration in Nepal in 2024 was the mega Yoga demonstration event organised at Pokhara’s Rangshala Stadium in association with the Pokhara Metropolitan City on 21 June 2024. Chief Minister of Gandaki Province Surindra Raj Pandey, Mayor of Pokhara Metropolitan City Dhana Raj Acharya and over 5000 yoga enthusiasts from the region participated in this event.

CM of Gandaki Province thanked the Embassy of India for organizing the largest International Yoga Day event in Pokhara this year. He underlined that the Government of Nepal had supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal for designating 21 June as the International Day of Yoga in 2014. He also emphasized that Yoga is an important component of the profound and enduring cultural ties between India and Nepal.

Ambassador Naveen Srivastava highlighted that Yoga serves as a powerful cultural bridge between India and Nepal and that the organization of Yoga events in important tourist locations in Nepal can also serve to boost Yoga tourism in these places. He reaffirmed that the city of Pokhara looks forward to collaborating with the Embassy every year for the celebration of the International Day of Yoga. 

The Consulate General of India also organised International Day of Yoga events in Janakpur, Chitwan, Birgunj, Hetauda, Gaur and Pokhariya. To wrap up the celebration of the 10th edition of the International Day of Yoga, the Embassy of India will be organising a Yoga demonstration event at the scenic Lamjung district in association with the Madhya Nepal Municipality on 22 June.

By celebration of yoga on grand scale, people-to-people connect and cultural exchanges with Nepal based on the shared interest in Yoga and holistic health practices is boosted.

By: Sweta Singh (Kathmandu)

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