A large number of people including from the Indian community have participated in special yoga sessions organised by the Indian Consulate here to commemorate the third International Yoga Day. Consul General Riva Ganguly Das led the Yoga Day celebrations at the Consulate premises yesterday and participated in the yoga and Art of Living (AOL) sessions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message on Yoga Day was played before practitioners led the gathering through the two-hour yoga and meditation sessions. "Our message is to take yoga to the world.
New York is the crossroads of the world and in its fast-paced life, we feel that yoga has much to contribute," Das told PTI. The Consulate had planned a flagship event for the day at the city's historic and popular Battery Park where hundreds of people were expected to participate in the Yoga Day celebrations. However, due to inclement weather, the event had to be cancelled and rescheduled at the Consulate premises. A large number of people attended the yoga sessions at the Consulate and performed the 'Surya Namaskar', 'Pranayam', AOL sessions and other yoga exercises. Das said resonance for the Yoga Day has grown in three years since the day was first marked in 2015. "With the focus on one particular day, it helps promote the message," she said, adding that lot of people who normally would not have done yoga are also getting interested and participating in the Yoga Day events. "People realise the benefits of yoga, and India's name is intrinsically associated with the day," she said. Das will also attend yoga celebrations at Times Square tomorrow where thousands of people descend on one of the most iconic American destinations and practice yoga. In commemoration of the day, the UN headquarters has been lit up for the second year in a row with images of yoga postures. The Permanent Mission of India to the UN will organise a 'Yoga Session with Yoga Masters' at the world body's headquarters led by Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, India and Swami Sivadasananda of Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Austria. Chef de Cabinet of the UN Secretary general Maria Luiza Ribeiro and President of the General Assembly Ambassador Peter Thomson are special guests on the occasion. The mission will organise 'Conversation on Yoga for Health' at the UN tomorrow in association with the Department of Public Information and World Health Organisation. Speakers at the event will include Kher, World Health Organisation Executive Director Nata Menabde, Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Former NFL athlete turned yogi Keith Mitchell, Bluechip Marketing Worldwide CEO Stanton Kawer and Swami Sivadasananda.