Washington: Saying that wars in the world begin when communication breaks down, Indian spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has emphasized the relevance of yoga which creates skills in communication and relating to people.
Yoga is not only about flexibility in body but also about flexibility in mind and thinking, he said in a talk on 'Nurturing Peace Through Yoga and Meditation' at the Indian embassy in Washington.
The purpose of yoga and meditation is to unite hearts and minds of people and to unite religions and cultures of the world, Shankar said. The talk marked the first of a series of curtain-raiser yoga events to welcome the first International Day of Yoga on June 21.
The UN General Assembly has declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga at the suggestion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition," said Charge d'Affaires Taranjit Singh Sandhu recalling Modi's speech at the United Nations.
"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," he said.
"It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature," Sandhu said. "By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change."
Government of India is planning to celebrate the International Day of Yoga in all the countries around the world, including US.
Wednesday's talk would be followed by curtain raiser Yoga events at the University of Maryland, Chinmaya Mission and other places over the next two months.
On the First International Day of Yoga, June 21, 2015, Embassy of India would be collaborating with Yoga organizations, practitioners, and Community Organizations for a day-long event at the Mall in Washington.