Bengal gears up for International Yoga Day

Kolkata (IANS) West Bengal is gearing up big time for the maiden International Yoga Day on Sunday with numerous yoga sessions and talks by gurus throughout the day.

From eastern command headquarters Fort William to the Indian Museum, yoga mats will be rolled out across the city when Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads the nation in Delhi in some early morning yoga – with 192 countries joining, marking the first International Day of Yoga in a global endorsement of an ancient Indian discipline.

In the non-BJP ruled state, union Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will lead the show from the SAI complex in Kolkata’s Salt Lake at 6.30 a.m. while union Science & Technology, Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan will headline the session at Kharagpur’s Barnamala Educational and Cultural Society.

The state’s Youth Affairs Department and Department of AYUSH have a three-hour session lined up at the Netaji Indoor Stadium and have planned tableaus across the city.

Preparations are in full swing at the auditorium that can hold a crowd of around 12,000. Meanwhile, Indian Army personnel have been rehearsing for a mammoth exercise at Fort William.

The 200-year-old Indian Museum is expecting not just archaeology and history buffs but anybody who wishes to join in an energetic yoga drill under the guidance of teachers from Art of Living.

“They will demonstrate Pranayam and yoga from 11am to 4:30pm. There will be five sessions each comprising 30 minutes. We are expecting around 500 enthusiasts to celebrate the day. Our staffers will also participate,” its education officer Sayan Bhattacharya told IANS.

At the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, a yoga demonstration will be conducted by World Yoga Society early morning while Brahmachari Achyutananda of the Yogoda Satsanga Math, Dakshineswar will deliver a lecture on ‘Yoga Science: an Antidote for Fear, Stress and Worries’.

A lot of inhaling and exhaling will go on on the corporate front as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising a yoga session at the Suresh Neotia Centre of Excellence for Leadership, Salt Lake. A number of representatives of Indian industry, including CEOs and senior executives, will take part during a two-hour programme.

Sweatshirts and energy drinks will be in store for participants at some of Kolkata’s posh hotels like Swissotel and Novotel in the eastern fringes.

More than 1000 yoga camps are scheduled to be held across Bengal by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s sports wing, the Kreeda Bharati (eastern zone).

Some youth clubs and housing societies in Kolkata have also planned small sessions to mark the day.

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