International Yoga Day: Dutch Army, police to showcase yoga asanas online

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The Dutch Army and police personnel will showcase yoga asanas during the International Yoga Day to be commemorated virtually in the Netherlands on Sunday in view of the Covid-19 restrictions. This will be the second time the Dutch Armed Forces will participate in the International Yoga Day celebrations organised by the Embassy of India in The Hague, according to an official statement.

The Dutch Ministry of Defence has introduced yoga for armed forces to enrich their training programme and reduce stress with yoga sessions being held weekly at various barracks. Yoga instructors have been recruited to strengthen the physical and mental fitness and agility of the soldiers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Yoga Day message and 3D animated images of him doing yoga will also be part of the celebrations. The International Yoga Day programme will be opened by Venu Rajamony, India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, the statement said.

The representatives of Dutch army and police will demonstrate their yoga skills as part of the online celebrations. Internationally acclaimed flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, violin maestro L Subramaniam, playback singers Kavita Krishnamurthy and Vijay Prakash will perform on the occasion. Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will also participate in the celebrations.

Actress Afke Reijenga, extreme sportsman popularly known as “The Iceman” Wim Hof, singers Charlie Dée and Anouk Maas are amongst the Dutch stars who will feature in the celebrations, it said.

The celebration on Sunday will include a Kathak recital on ‘Ayush’ choreographed by Dutch choreographer Leo Spreksel and performed by eminent Kathak dancers Hari and Chetna.

It will also showcase Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities, who have made yoga a part of their lives.

Further, there will be a group yoga session of Ambassadors of various countries based in The Hague and yoga/pranayam and meditation sessions led by Swami Jyotirmayaa, Manish Pole, Mark Dowe, Patty Jongemaets and Marcel van de Vis Heil.

The programme will be interactive and viewers will be invited to send their yoga videos on this year’s theme of “Yoga at Home, Yoga with Family” with prizes being given for the best entry.

The online celebrations on June 21 will be streamed to over 1,45,000 followers of the Embassy’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels as well as on the websites of the Embassy and ‘Stichting International Yoga Day’, a non-profit organisation.

Free yoga lessons are being offered at The Gandhi Centre which is the cultural wing of the Embassy of India in The Hague.

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on December 11, 2014, at the initiative of India, declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.

The resolution calls upon governments and people all over the world to observe this day in an appropriate manner and to raise awareness of the benefits of practicing yoga.

This is the sixth time the International Day of Yoga is being celebrated in the Netherlands.

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