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Vientiane Residents Observe Int’l Day of Yoga in Laos

Over 500 people Vientiane residents and representatives from international organisations gathered at the That Luang Square in Vientiane Capital on June 21 to mark the International Day of Yoga.

The event was also attended by Minister of Education and Sports Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun and Ambassador of India to Laos Ravi Shankar Aisola.

In 2004, the United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. Following this, the 1st International Day of Yoga was celebrated with great success in 2015, according to Mr Ravi Shankar Aisola.

This year, we are celebrating the 3rd International Day of Yoga on the exact day. We are also celebrating the 3rd International Day of Yoga during the 25th Anniversary of India-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, Mr Ravi Shankar Aisola said.

This year, we also celebrate the 70th Anniversary of India’s independence. Hence the year 2017 is a significant year for India and for India-ASEAN and India-Lao relations, he said.

Yoga is an ancient Indian gift to mankind. It is an ancient Indian science of health and longevity and along with the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicines, constitutes India’s holistic traditional medicine. The word Yoga literally means To Yoke This literally means to yoke the senses and bring about a personal and spiritual transformation. Yoga in its full form called Ashtanga Yoga. It has eight components of which Asanas and Pranayamas are only one.

The other seven components deal with lifestyle, habits etc., and also with the different states of being as the yogi � a practiser of yoga � progresses.

Today, we are chiefly concerned with Hathayoga, which is about Asanas and Pranayamas. This is more directly concerned with spiritual and mental health. While the serous practice of Yoga will lead us to complete inner transformation and spiritual upliftment, the happy fallout from this is excellent health. Yoga is an ancient science but extremely relevant in modern times, which are full of stress and anxiety, Mr Ravi Shankar Aisola said.

While this day is being celebrated the world over, it is very appropriate that we celebrate this day in Laos.India and Laos have historical linkages and connections with Hindu sages and Buddhist monks travelling between two countries. I would like to believe that in ancient past great Indian yogis had even visited Laos, the ambassador said.

The ambassador went on to say, The famous shrine at Vat Phou, Champassak was a Temple of the Hindu God Shiva, known as Bhadreshwara there. Lord Shiva is also known as Adi Yogi. meaning the first of the yogis. Hence it is very befitting that we are celebrating Yoga day today here in Vientiane and on 24th June at Vat Phou.

The International Day of Yoga was organised by the Embassy of India, Vientiane. The embassy is also organizing an essay-writing contest on the subject of yoga.

Source: Lao News Agency