Czechs celebrate 50 years with Vishwaguruji and Yoga in Daily Life
On 17 April 2023, Prague hosted the main celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Vishwaguruji's arrival to the Czech and Slovak Republics (former Czechoslovakia), when he first shared the blessings of the Yoga in Daily Life System.
In the spring of 1973, Vishwaguruji first arrived in Czechoslovakia to teach yoga, at the invitation of local yoga aspirants. His very first public programme filled the house, marking the beginning of his successful work of guiding thousands of Czechs and Slovaks on their yoga path. During the 50 years, Vishwaguruji has also trained several generations of yoga teachers.
The celebration on April 17 took place under the auspices of Czech Prime Minister, H.E. Petr Fiala and Senator Roman Kraus, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health.
After Prime Minister Fiala's greeting to the participants was read to the audience, Senator Roman Kraus, H.E. Hemant Kotalwar, Ambassador of India to the Czech Republic, and Miroslav Petr, Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, opened the program with their introductory remarks.
The main organiser, Prof. Martin Repko, President of the Czech Union of Yoga in Daily Life, then presented the Yoga in Daily Life System and Vishwaguruji's work in the Czech Republic over the last five decades.
The programme continued with short presentations from experts about the four aspects of health according to Yoga in Daily Life: physical, mental, social and spiritual.
Prof. Milada Krejčí, Vice-Rector for Research and Science at the College of Physical Education and Sports Palestra in Prague, presented her research on practising Yoga in Daily Life for physical resilience.
Dr. Kateřina Sheardová, Head of the Dementia Research Team at the International Clinical Research Centre of St. Anne University Hospital in Brno and founder of the Czech Brain Aging Study, gave a presentation about mental and spiritual health, healthy ageing and the benefits of practising yoga and specific yoga techniques.
Dr. Manfred Stepponat, President of International Sri Deep Madhavananda Ashram Fellowship from Austria, presented charity, peace, research and education projects by Yoga in Daily Life in India and other countries, that contribute to the fourth type of health – social health.
Roman Fuksa, President of Yoga in Daily Life Prague NGO then introduced the audience to the Om Ashram project in Jadan, India, including the role that many Czechs and Slovaks have played in its development.
After this block of presentations, Prof. Repko, who is also Head of the Orthopaedic Clinic at Brno University Hospital and Dean of the Medical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno, commentated during the live demonstration of Bari Khatu Pranam, an exercise sequence from Yoga in Daily Life, explaining its benefits for a healthy spine and for correcting faulty posture.
Finally, the audience was pleased to watch a video greeting from the author of Yoga in Daily Life, H.H. Vishwaguruji, who could not attend in person, as he had to travel to India in early April.
It was followed by a new short video about the past 50 years, containing archive footage of Vishwaguruji and Yoga in Daily Life activities in former Czechoslovakia and later Czechia and Slovakia, as well as in India and other countries.
View more videos on the YIDL Czech YouTube channel (Czech language with English subtitles).
After the formal live and video presentations, the assembled guests enjoyed healthy vegan refreshments at a Reception held at the same venue.
Yoga in Daily Life in the Czech Republic today
This special event was organised by the Czech Union of Yoga in Daily Life NGO, which is an umbrella organisation coordinating activities of 27 independent Yoga in Daily Life associations and other smaller groups, in 122 cities and towns across the Czech Republic. It is thanks to them that there are currently about 400 Yoga in Daily Life classes every week around the country, with thousands of people attending regularly.