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Worldwide Celebrations for International Day of Yoga – part 2

The International Day of Yoga (IDY) programs around the world have once again raised awareness of Yoga and its benefits among the wider general public. Thanks to IDY, many people were able to experience Yoga practice for the first time and learn useful techniques for their health and well-being. There has been much positive feedback about the special events and free classes provided by Yoga in Daily Life, both from members of the public as well as yoga aspirants who already practice. And many new people showed interest in attending regular classes, as well as coming to IDY events again next year. See reports from some countries below – more reports can be viewed in articles here and here.


In the Southern Hemisphere of this planet, the International Day of Yoga is celebrated on the winter solstice. All Australian Yoga in Daily Life centers offered free morning classes on IDY.

In Melbourne Swami Gopal had an evening satsang with meditation and a vegetarian meal in the ashram, where he spoke about the origins of yoga.

In Merrylands Ashram, Sydney, there was a satsang with meditation music on Indian bamboo bansuri flute and Japanese shakuhachi flute, with Swami Madhuram from New Zealand.

In Brisbane, after the free yoga class, the program continued with Pushpaji from Jadan talking about the humanitarian projects in India, such as Gyan Putra and the OM Ashram in Jadan. The yoga students were very interested to meet someone who actually lives there, which made the projects more real and meaningful for them.

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IDY celebrations were held in Haikou, on Hainan, the large island province in southern China. The events took place in a park in the center of the city and in a retreat center. Participants enjoyed the morning celebration and felt that the whole world was sharing positive vibrations with them.

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In honor of the International Day of Yoga 2019, Yoga in Daily Life in Slovenia organized celebrations in the 9 largest cities at 12 locations, including: Ljubljana, Maribor, Novo Mesto, Kranj, Koper, Celje, Nova Gorica, Popetre, Domžale. Participation in all programs was free of charge. A total of over 650 people attended the programs, which were held in YIDL centers as well as outside, in nature and parks. The programs included Yoga in Daily Life exercises, international IDY common yoga protocol, and celebrations.

An especially nice program was held in Domžale on 15 June, with a 6.5 km walk to the beautiful natural park Arboretum Volčji Potok. Once at the park, participants were provided with guided yoga exercises, the 'common yoga protocol' and lunch for all. This wonderful program was also attended by the Ambassador of India in Slovenia, His Excellency Mr Param Jit Mann, who addressed the gathering and thanked everyone for their participation.

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In Vancouver, Canada, free yoga classes were offered at the Yoga in Daily Life Ashram in the center of the city and in the local park.

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Yoga in Daily Life USA participated in International Day of Yoga in seven locations on both the the east and west coasts of the country, ranging from the United Nations General Assembly to YIDL ashrams, a street festival and an Indian Consulate.

Yoga in Daily Life members in New York City participated in the United Nations General Assembly commemoration of IDY, as well as a panel presentation at Tillman Chapel Church Center for the U.N., collaborating with organizations including the event sponsor, the IDY Committee of the U.N.

In Alexandria, Virginia (near Washington DC), teachers and members of Yoga in Daily Life commemorated IDY by participating in the annual WellRay Festival in Del Ray, Alexandria devoted to promoting health and wellness. YIDL teachers taught an outdoor class to a large crowd and volunteers staffed a YIDL display table throughout the half-day fair, answering questions about the YIDL System, distributing coupons for free classes, and offering YIDL and Chakra books for sale.

A big function took place in Atlanta, Georgia, on 23 June with the Indian Consulate of Atlanta and the YIDL team, including Swami Prempuja and the Purohit family, presenting yoga asanas and mantras on stage. More than 900 people participated in total.

YIDL members from the San Francisco Bay Area collaborated with the Dashavatara Yoga Center in Fremont, California, to celebrate and honor the ancient science of Yoga for IDY with a Yoga Camp for Kids 17-21 June and free yoga sessions for Adults 21-22 June.

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Czech Republic

Besides the big Indian Embassy event in Prague, there were numerous IDY events organized by Yoga in Daily Life in Czech, for example: YIDL Český Krumlov offered free yoga classes throughout the week; in Zlin IDY was celebrated in Komenského Park; and also in the castle park in Holešov. About 130 people attended these events. The weather and the exercise were successful and everyone received something beneficial.

Promotion of the Olomouc event was itself was a great benefit for the local citizens, who learned more about what yoga is when Czech Radio responded to the promotional advertising in trams (streetcars) and broadcast an interview with a Yoga in Daily Life teacher Pavla Šrámková. Sadhvi Mantrapuri had a lecture in the yoga center, inspiring new and experienced yoga aspirants. She spoke very sensitively that yoga can give everything to modern people, all that they need. Yoga can help one to improve their physical, mental, social and spiritual health. She talked about simple practical things being part of yoga, for example, minimizing personal needs, eliminating waste generation and pollution, and protecting nature. Through yoga, we heal ourselves and our surroundings, the whole planet; and through purification, we return to our nature.

In PrachaticeYoga in Daily Life members practiced publicly on the beautiful meadow in Klenovice. The main activity was a video recording of Bari Khatu Pranam. 30 participants took part in this celebration.

In Brno, a lecture on 'The benefits of Yoga in preventing joint pain and degradation' was given on 21 June by Dr Martin Repko – an orthopaedist in the city's Yoga in Daily Life Ashram. On 22 June an open-air Yoga Festival with classes and workshops was organized in Kraví Hora Park. The all-day event consisted of five free yoga classes/workshops with an introduction to the principles of yoga, followed by relaxation, asanas, pranayama and a closing meditation for all participants.

A special satsang was held in the Ostrava YIDL center Mariánské Hory, dedicated to IDY.

Numerous pariticipants met in the town of Vřesina, near Ostrava, to celebrate IDY with a presentation about Yoga in Daily Life System and its author Vishwaguru Maheshwarananda. There was a demonstration of exercises from this system, a presentation about vegetarianism, and enjoyment of vegetarian food from the restaurant, U milé Gópí. Information was also given about the available selection of YIDL yoga books. People enjoyed the exercises and some new people already registered for the autumn yoga term.

On Saturday, June 22, a celebration of IDY took place in the gym hall in Horní Bečva. Starting with chanting of mantras and a short meditation, then exercises with children and adults together, under the guidance of Yoga in Daily Life teachers. After a tasty vegetarian snack, Marie Kužmová gave a lecture on visiting the Himalayas and traveling to the ashrams in India. Petr Trnaj presented beautiful photographs and short videos from India. The evening included a musical component, with Marie Mandová playing the flute and her husband Roman playing the drum. To conclude the program, a video was shown about last year's spiritual pilgrimage to the Himalayas by 350 people from all over the world.

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On Saturday 15 June, Strilky Ashram celebrated IDY, with more than 120 people joining in and they were warmly welcomed together with the Mayor Mr Viktor Ganjuškin. After a walk around the castle, park, and gardens, the group practiced yoga: seniors, adults, and children. Mr and Mrs Skvaril gave a very illuminating lecture about healthy vegetarian nourishment and after there was a delightful degustation of vegetarian food prepared by the local Tilak restaurant. In the afternoon, several workshops were provided by teachers from the Ayurveda Academy of YIDL. In the evening, there was an opening of an exhibition of paintings in Tilak by Katerina Machytkova: Samadhi – Light in the Soul. The whole day was enjoyed in the spirit of friendship and was full of harmony.  

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The International Day of Yoga was celebrated in many locations and yoga centers throughout Slovakia, and dozens of YIDL associations in Slovakia organized celebrations and meetings at Peace Trees during the weekend of 22-23 June. All yoga centers offered free Yoga classes for the whole week.

In the heart of Slovakia – in the city of Martin, on Sunday 23 June, about 100 practitioners took part in five workshops on two stages, in the very pleasant environment of the botanical garden of the Slovak National Museum. The most popular workshops were Yoga Against Back Pain led by Dr Schmidtova and Yoga For Women led by physiotherapist Ms Minarikova. The second stage was dedicated to yoga for children. Delicious vegetarian sambar daal was served to all at the end of the day.

In Stara Tura, IDY was celebrated with a yoga class on the City Square, which was also part of a local festival organized during the weekend. We gathered in the morning on the 21st of June and the event was attended by more than 30 people.

In Banská Bystrica we celebrated International Yoga Day on June 23, in the park under the SNP Memorial. Three sessions of exercises were prepared: for beginners, for children, and asanas with pranayama. The yoga classes were part of the Slovakia Sporting event, with participants particularly interested in yoga exercises. 70 people joined in with the yoga practice during the morning.

In Košice, two yoga classes were organized in a beautiful city park near the World Peace Tree, on 21 June in the afternoon. Although it was raining before the practice, many people came and enjoyed nice yoga classes. The program continued in the yoga center with an evening satsang.

In Roznava, there was free yoga class held in the Yoga in Daily Life center.

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United Kingdom

London, England – as well as hosting a special visit from the author of Yoga in Daily Life, Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, and joining his attendance at official IDY programs supported by the Indian High Commission, the London members of Yoga in Daily Life offered free classes over three days on 21-23 June. On Friday 21 June, free Yoga classes were provided in the morning and evening and a Meditation class was also offered in the evening at Sri Swami Madhavanandaji Ashram. On Saturday 22 June, practitioners performed 108 rounds of Khatu Pranam together in nearby Queens Park, close to the World Peace Tree planted by Vishwaguruji in 2010; and a satsang with Vishwaguruji was held in the in the evening in the ashram. On Sunday 23 June, a free Yoga class was given in the morning and then the Yoga Center held an Open Day, including another three free yoga classes offered throughout the afternoon, with a team of YIDL teachers available to provide information about the YIDL System and class activities available in London.

Edinburgh, Scotland – on Thursday morning a free yoga session was provided at the historic Botanic Cottage in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh, where Vishwaguruji led a program during his visit to Scotland in September 2017. On Friday 21 June, being the northern summer solstice, surya namaskars were included in the free morning Yoga class at Mahaprabhu Deep Ashram in Edinburgh. In the evening, the free Yoga Nidra class was very well attended by many people filling the yoga room, eager to round off their busy working week with some deep relaxation, followed by vegan chai and refreshments. Students in the ashram also had the chance to write what they like about yoga on the chalkboard after class, as has become the tradition in Edinburgh in celebration of IDY each year, since 2015.

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International Day of Yoga was celebrated by members of Yoga in Daily Life in Holguín, the fourth largest city in Cuba. From 18 to 20 June, talks were given to each of the groups of practitioners participating in regular classes, about the importance, tradition, meaning and principles of the Yoga in Daily Life System.

On 21 June, an evening program began at Place Loma de la Cruz, with a free class of asanas and pranayama for practitioners from the different schools of Yoga around Holguín.

The yoga class was followed by a group meditation, singing of bhajans (devotional songs), and then talks were given about the origin and lineage of the YIDL System, then about IDY and lastly about the importance of developing a regular sadhana (disciplined practice).

The group then sang more bhajans and chanted the Peace Mantra together and gave thanks to all who participated in the activities for this year's International Yoga Day.

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On Friday 21 June the day started with a Brahmamuhurta (pre-dawn) meditation at Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona, a very special way to celebrate IDY and summer solstice, by greeting the sunrise and meditating.

The morning continued on the beach with a yoga class organized with Sports Fitness ICARIA, from where many practitioners came, as well as friends and Yoga Center members. The class included practicing Khatu Pranam towards the sunrise, followed by relaxation, asanas, nadi shodhana pranayama and meditation. At the end of the class, teachers spoke about some of the internatioanal humanitarian projects of Yoga in Daily Life, such as Gyan Putra

As well as the activities on the beach, there was an all-day 'open house' event in the Barcelona Ashram, with free classes in the morning, afternoon and evening practiced outside in the peace and silence of the ashram garden.

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday 19 June, a Mandala Workshop was organized at the yoga center, in honor of IDY, for the children who regularly attend the Kids Yoga class, which runs throughout the year. Like the adult classes, children work on balance, coordination and breathing and are also taught values such as teamwork and respect towards everybody. They colored-in giant mandala pictures and practiced their favourite animal asanas.

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Vép, Hungary – IDY with Vishwaguruji

As a highlight and closing of the Yoga in Daily Life International Day of Yoga celebrations, on Monday, June 24, Vishwaguruji Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda guided the morning session at the international Summer Retreat in Vép, Hungary, with more than 500 practitioners.

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Other IDY events organized by Yoga in Daily Life members, teachers and Yoga Centers also took place in: France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and Switzerland.