Laos, India Mark 7th International Day of Yoga

The Embassy of India to Laos and the Government of the Lao PDR jointly celebrated the 7th International Day of Yoga (IDY) on 26 June 2021, with the theme “Yoga for Wellness” in hybrid mode.

The event was organised at Chao Anuovong Stadium, Vientiane. All directives issued from time to time by Lao authorities at the central and local levels in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic were observed.

Minister of Education and Sports Phout Simmalavong, President of the Lao-India Friendship Association Bountiem Phissamy, and Vice Minister of Education and Sports Khanthaly Siriphongphan graced the celebrations with their presence.

A good number of people including government officials and members of Indian diaspora also attended the event. Many more joined the event virtually.

Over the last seven years, the Embassy of India, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education a Sports; and Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism; and the authorities of Vientiane, has been organizing IDY events at various prominent locations including at That Luang Square; Vat Phou; and Lanexang Park, Luang Prabang.

The yoga events in the Lao PDR have seen enthusiastic participation by Lao nationals and the resident Indian community alike and have become very popular.

Welcoming the participants to the Yoga Day celebrations, Ambassador Dinkar Asthana mentioned that Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition to mankind. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is for the benefit of all of us. It boosts our immunity and helps us to fight stress and anxiety. Practicing Yoga is a way of leading a healthier life.

Ambassador mentioned that on Jun 21, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi launched a yoga app, called mYoga app, which was developed jointly by India and WHO.

The app provides many videos of yoga training based on the common yoga protocol in many languages. Terming this as a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science, Prime Minister Modi expressed the hope that mYoga app will help in spreading yoga all over the world and will contribute to the efforts of ‘One World One Health’.

The Ambassador also pointed out that as one gets deeper into Yoga, one might like to go to the original texts of Yoga. Many of them are in Sanskrit. Classical languages like Sanskrit and Pali open the door to the great literary and cultural heritage of India, importantly, the original Sanskrit version of the great epic, Ramayana (known as Phra Lak Phra Ram in Laos), which has spread all across South East Asia. To make learning Sanskrit more interesting, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations has launched a mobile App, called ‘Little Guru’, which is World’s first gamified Sanskrit learning App. The first few lessons are free, after which there is a very nominal monthly subscription of about 30000 kip. The app can be downloaded from Google Playstore (for android phones) or App Store for apple phones.

Minister of Education and Sports Phout Simmalavong mentioned that Yoga is good for the overall development of our body and beneficial for all of us. He observed, “I am very proud and honoured to be on behalf of the Party and State Committee, the Lao people of all ethnic groups, as well as the Ministry of Education and Sports to attend this important 7th International Yoga Day celebration”.

The event included a Yoga practice session conducted by Yoga instructors from the Art of Living Foundation as per the standard Common Yoga Protocol of the International Day of yoga. The celebrations were also live-streamed through the Embassy’s Facebook page.

This was the third, and last, event organised by the embassy to mark the 7th International Day of Yoga in the Lao PDR this year. The first two events were in online mode. On Jun 13, the embassy organized a curtain raiser with a Yoga session conducted by the Isha Foundation of India. Then, on the main IDY itself, i.e. Jun 21, the embassy organised a Yoga session in collaboration with Indian Yoga Studio, Vientiane.

Source: Lao News Agency