Poland celebrates International Yoga Day with gusto

Warsaw, June 21 (IANS) Thousands of Polish people came out to celebrate International Yoga Day, not just in capital Warsaw but in public parks and hundreds of yoga centres around the country, showing the growing popularity of the Indian lifestyle philosophy and ancient science.

The Embassy of India with the help of Indo-Polish Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IPCCI), Art of Living and the Polish Association of yoga schools had chalked a well-crafted programme in the 19 major cities, including Krakow, Poznan, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Lodz, much in advance.

The preparations had started since April and Indian Ambassador Ajay Bisaria, being a yoga fanatic himself, went out of his way to make history in Poland. He was largely helped by IPCCI’s president J.J. Singh who was selected as the main convener.

In the Polish capital, the main venue was a beautiful park, Pole Mokotowskie, where hundreds of people had come out early in the morning to participate in the display of yoga technique or asanas.

The programme went on the whole day, including yoga sessions for children and pregnant women.

Speaking on the occasion, Bisaria expressed his satisfaction with the response of the citizens and said: “Now yoga has become an important aspect of human civilisation. If on the one hand it keeps a person relaxed, it creates an atmosphere of human understanding and peace on the other.

“In a sense yoga is a way of life and by practising yoga, humankind can achieve many new frontiers of serenity,” he said.

There were reports that International Yoga Day was celebrated through out Poland.

In Krakow, under the supervision of Umesh Nautiyal, president of the India-Poland Cultural Committee (IPCC), International Yoga Day was organised.

Nautiyal told IANS: “The response of the people of Krakow has been encouraging. Hundreds of Krakowians have participated. This will help us to start regular yoga classes under the supervision of IPCC in the near future.”

Similar positive reports came from Gdansk, an important Baltic town which was the cradle of the Solidarity trade union movement under Lech Walesa in the 1980s.

Sunil Ahuja, president Gdansk Cultural Centre, told IANS: “The response has been very positive and beyond our imagination.”

From Wroclaw, Kartikey Johri, a member of IPCCI sent a special report of the International Yoga Day celebration, mentioning the great enthusiasm of the participants.

By the evening all reports are likely to reach the organising committee.

“It is not surprising that the response to International Yoga Day has been great. For the past three decades yoga classes are being conducted in many places and many of the instructors, whether men or women, have gone to India to learn the nuances of yoga and now they are training hundreds of people here. For many it has become a business to earn money also,” observed Janusz Krzyzowski, president of the IPCC of Warsaw branch.

“Warsaw alone has more than 200 yoga centres. If one includes all the centres in Poland it will probably touch around 800 yoga centres where people regularly come for exercises and group discussions,” said J.J. Singh, the main convener.

Krzyzowski is an Indophile who has penned two dozens of books on many aspects of Indian culture and literature.

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