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21/06/24 | 5:50 pm

Riyadh Celebrates 10th International Day of Yoga with Historic First

The 10th International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated with enthusiasm in Riyadh on June 21, 2024, under the theme “Yoga for Self and Society.” The event, held at Prince Faisal Bin Fahad Olympic Complex, was organized by the Embassy of India in Riyadh in collaboration with the Saudi Yoga Committee and the Ministry of Sports, Saudi Arabia.

In a historic first, the Common Yoga Protocol was led by Ms. Alhanouf Saad from the Saudi Yoga Committee, marking the first time a Saudi woman has instructed the main yoga session at this international event in Riyadh. This milestone underscores the growing acceptance and popularity of yoga in Saudi Arabia.Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, delivered a welcome address emphasizing the importance of incorporating yoga into daily life and its health benefits. He highlighted yoga’s positive impact on both individuals and society as a whole.

The celebration was graced by notable figures in the yoga community, including Ms. Nouf Al Marwai, President of the Saudi Yoga Committee and Padma Shri awardee, and Ms. Rajashree Choudhary, President of the International Yoga Sports Federation.The yoga demonstration commenced with a traditional prayer, followed by the Common Yoga Protocol. Participants engaged in various yoga poses, pranayama breathing exercises, and meditation techniques.

The event drew a diverse crowd, including Indian Embassy officials and their families, members of the diplomatic community, Indian expatriates, school students and teachers from various Saudi Arabian institutions, Saudi nationals, and representatives from other nationalities. To conclude the celebration, Ambassador Khan presented mementos to the chief guests, yoga instructor, and medical support team. This year’s IDY celebration in Riyadh, featuring the groundbreaking leadership of a Saudi woman instructor, exemplifies the growing global recognition of yoga as a holistic practice that promotes physical and mental well-being, transcending cultural and national boundaries.

-Vinod Kumar

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