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Yoga in Daily Life and UN

melbourne100830The 63rd Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference took place in Melbourne, Australia, August 30 - September 1, 2010, for more information visit conference page on UN website:


The DPI/NGO Conference Declaration you can find here.


More than 1,600 participants and NGOs from 70 countries have gathered to collaborate, network and exchange best-practices, information and narratives on the challenges and progress made in the global quest for achieving the MDGs. There are 8 Millennium Development Goals declared in 2005 by world leaders as necessary to achieve by 2015. Although with just five years left to reach the goals set for child health, women’s health and the continuing fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, it is clear that progress achieved so far, is not what everyone hoped it would be 10 years ago.


The conference roundtable presentations and workshop discussions are examining critical issues such as:

  • bridging the health gaps that still exist and encouraging equity of treatment and access
  • addressing failed maternal and child health strategies
  • promoting civic activism around health and wellness
  • and strengthening an integrated approach to achieving health for all.
  • The UN Department of Public Information hopes this three-day exchange of ideas and best practices will leave a lasting legacy, to inspire and also reinvigorate NGOs to advocate with governments, businesses, researchers and the wider public to galvanise the world at large, to better contribute towards the Millennium Goals and improving global health.

Yoga in Daily Life’s Hands-On Experience at the Conference:

“Yoga saved my life” said Sue, matter-of-factly, with no emotion, yet her words were filled with utter conviction. We met as we queued to enter this week’s United Nations conference for NGO’s on the theme ‘Advance Global Health’. Sue had flown in from America and while we waited in line, told me her story of being savagely attacked and left for dead. Prior to the attack she had been a regular yoga practitioner and knew the far-reaching health benefits. She diligently applied these techniques in her rehabilitation and gives yoga the credit for her physical and mental rehabilitation and thus her presence here today.

Yet another chalk mark up on the board in favour of yoga.  How to get this message out to others?

In his opening speech at UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, said simple measures can make a huge difference. Yoga is simple. He also said, the wealth of nations is inextricably linked to the health of its citizens. The practice of yoga costs nothing. Mr. Moon further said studies show that by investing in health, poverty is reduced.

While manning our yoga exhibit today, dozens of people from all over the world approached us for information - many were medical professionals or people who had been recommended yoga by their health care advisor. One doctor stated her first preference is always to prescribe relaxation and meditation in response to stress and anxiety, rather than pills. Others said that yoga offered them sanity and relief from chronic back problems. Still others said how they had been sharing yoga techniques with disadvantaged communities elsewhere in the world and how it enhances life.

These stories reminded me of the words of H.H. Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, ‘Yoga makes you a better person, which makes a better family, which makes a better neighbourhood, which makes a better community, which makes a better nation…. in this way, yoga contributes to world peace.’ 

A journalist asked: “Do you feel there is a place for yoga in conversations about global health?”  Most definitely, I replied. All the yoga and meditation practices serve to nurture physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Give these practices consistent priority in your life and yoga will foster health on all levels, simultaneously benefitting others around you. Yes, Yoga has a place in discussions about global health. It’s already happening.

Yoga in Daily Life is scheduled to hold a 45 minute class at the conference in Room 103, this Tuesday night at 6.30pm

Thanks to Yoga in Daily Life members, Mahamandaleshwar Swami Jasrajpuri, Prabhupuri, Rod Morgan, Jyoti and Gita for their representation of Yoga in Daily Life at this major world event.

Bhakti Johnson, National Coordinator for the Australian Association of Yoga in Daily Life