Washington: Thousands of yoga enthusiasts spread their mats for yoga sessions across America from East to West Coast to mark the First International Day of Yoga as governors of several states issued proclamations in support.
In Washington DC, more than 1500 people from all walks of life joined the event held at Sylvan Theatre Stage on the prestigious National Mall, next to the towering National Monument, built to commemorate the first American president George Washington,
Participants wore white T shirts sporting the hashtag #YogaDay2015. The Indian Embassy presented the event in collaboration with Friends of Yoga, a group of organizations which support and promote yoga.
Thousands of people participated in the Yoga Day celebrations with fervour and enthusiasm in several US cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco.
Senior Obama administration officials joined the Indian Ambassador Arun K. Singh and Embassy officials at the Washington event. The first Indian Miss America, Nina Davuluri, also addressed the gathering.
These included Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, Matt Nosanchuk, Director for Outreach, National Security Council, and Peter Mamacos, Health Department’s Director of Multilateral Relations.
Officials and representatives from the White House, State Department, Smithsonian Institutions, National Dance Therapy Association, World Bank, academic institutions, think tanks and other key organizations also participated.
Carrie Trybulec, Director of Gandhi Memorial Centre anchored the event.
Governors of several states issued proclamations and felicitation messages to support and commemorate the First International Day of Yoga and spread awareness about yoga.
These included Maryland’s Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Virginia’s Terence R. McAuliffe, Massachusetts’ Charles D. Baker, Texas’ Greg Abbott and Illinois’ Bruce Rauner.
Edwin M. Lee, Steven S. Choi, Sam Liccardo and David P. Maher, mayors of San Francisco, Irvine, San Jose, and Cambridge respectively also issued proclamations.
The lone Hindu American member of the US Congress, Tulsi Gabbard introduced a resolution in the Congress in support of the International Yoga Day.
The Washington event presented guided yoga sessions based on ‘Common Yoga Protocol’ video created by Government of India.
Yoga organizations also presented yoga-related activities to highlight various facets of yoga. Local yoga studios from Washington DC also participated in the event.
Indian flautist Deepak Ram and American Percussionist John De Kadt collaborated to present music performance during the event. Indian dance was also presented in yoga form.
The embassy will be collaborating to organize a yoga event on the Capitol Hill on Monday.