Students vow to teach yoga to family, friends

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Young foreign students who participated in International Yoga Day celebrations here on Sunday lavished praises on yoga and vowed to spread the techniques to their family and friends.

Lolah Alkhtani from Yemen said she always wanted to practise yoga and that Bollywood movies which have made Indian culture popular in her country inspired her to do so.

“My sister and I have seen characters doing yoga in Bollywood films and we always wanted to try. I am lucky that I got the opportunity today,” Alkhtani, who is pursuing her Master’s in English from Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, told IANS.

Alkhtani, dressed in a pink coloured hijab, white T-shirt and yoga pants, said she practised the different asanas for two days “to get them spot on”.

“I have worked hard but thoroughly enjoyed it. When I return home next year, I will surely teach my friends and families,” she said.

When asked about objections raised by some Indian Muslims against practising yoga, Alkhtani said: “It all depends on how you see it. For me, it (yoga) is a way to keep myself healthy.”

There were some others who had little idea about yoga and the asanas, but upon completing the 35-minute session at Rajpath on Sunday, many were surprised to have sailed through smoothly.

“It looked tough on the screen but I was able to do almost all of it even though I had not practised at all,” said a cheerful Tung Nhamthanh, 25, who is from Vietnam.

Dressed in white polo T-shirt with the official IYD emblem printed on it, which Ayush ministry distributed among participants, Nhamthanh, who is pursuing his Master’s in political sciences from Jamia Millia Islamia University, said yoga was not quite popular his country.

He said he would definitely teach his loved ones when he goes back home.

“This initiative is a great way to unite the people of the world,” he said.

Delhi’s schoolchildren who participated in the event said yoga helped them concentrate better on their studies.

“I love maths and in the past couple of months since I started practising yoga, I have felt that my concentration levels have improved,” Harshdeep Singh, 13, from the Rajkiya Pratibha Vidyalaya in east Delhi’s Geeta Colony, told IANS.

Eleven-year-old Amjad Khan from the Government Boys’ School in north Delhi’s Model Town, said he has already started teaching yoga to his two elder brothers at home.

“I have become a big fan of yoga and have vowed to teach it to as many people as possible in my neighbourhood,” said Khan.

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