Foreign participants do headstands at Rajpath

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) As foreign diplomats, dignitaries and other guests sat on the grounds of Rajpath, waiting for the official International Yoga Day (IYD) function to begin, a pair of legs suddenly rose skywards, effortlessly – as a French participant exhibited her yoga expertise.

As Camille, from the French embassy, expertly did a Shirsasana or headstand, on the next row another pair of legs went up and expertly rotated and came down. It was Mpiana from the Democratic Republic of Congo, giving a demonstration at his yoga proficiency.

Among the 300-odd foreign guests, including members of the diplomat corps and students, most were not regular practitioners of yoga, as they confessed to the IANS correspondent.

But some are regulars and experts at yoga.

Camille from the French embassy did her Shirsasana expertly, raising her legs skywards, staying in the position for some minutes before coming down again. She repeated it a few times.

“I have learnt yoga from the Sivananda Hatha Yoga Centre,” Camille told IANS.

Camille said she has been practicing for the past 10 years and learnt yoga while she was in New York. She said she found it beneficial.

“I do yoga four times a week for one hour each,” Camille added.

Mpiana, a student of Lovely Professional University, said he is studying electrical engineering and enjoys doing yoga.

There were some others among the crowd of foreign guests who were proficient in yoga, but by and large it was the first time for most.

The outgoing envoy of Burkina Faso, Idriss Raoua Ouedraogo had a crowd of admirers around him. A yoga enthusiast, Idriss said he found the 35 asanas of the IYD yoga protocol simple.

From Jamia Millia Islamia college eight foreign students came and participated in the event. There was Liza Darvish from Afghanistan, studying law at the university. Liza, who had a scarf around her head, said she liked doing yoga but did it sometimes. “I do it once in a while,” Liza told IANS at the venue.

There was also Amar Arif from Iraq. A doctorate student of chemistry at Jamia, Amar said he “loves India too much”.

There was Hellen from Nigeria, who is studying nursing in the Galgotia University in Gautam Budh Nagar. She said eight of the foreign students from the university were invited to participate.

Along with her was Nehemi, from Congo, who is doing his Bachelor of Computer Applications at the same university.

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