Diplomats celebrating International Yoga Day at the US Embassy in New Delhi.
Nearly hundred diplomats from various foreign missions today joined a yoga session organised by the Ministry of External Affairs to celebrate the International Day of Yoga in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and a number of high-ranking officials of the ministry were among those who attended the event.
In her brief remarks, Ms Swaraj recalled global support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative in 2014 for the United Nations to designate June 21 as International Day of Yoga. She stressed that yoga belongs not merely to India, but to the whole world and that it is a "complete system" for wellbeing and harmony "within ourselves, as well as with nature".
"Excellencies, yoga is not merely about physical well- being through asanas
or postures or pranayam
or breath control. It is a science to attain inner peace, it is the art to attain equanimity. It is a full system to arrive at harmony within ourselves, with nature, and with the world," Ms Swaraj said.
She also thanked the international community for its support for yoga's recognition at the UNESCO as "intangible heritage of mankind", and for the enthusiastic celebration of International Day of Yoga across the world over the past three years.
The Acting Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, ambassadors, high commissioners and diplomats of several countries twisted, turned and stretched while practicing yoga asanas
at the event.
The event also saw a unique rendition of 11 ancient prayers for peace, brotherhood and harmony.
"All the prayers for peace ended with chanting of shanti, shanti, shanti
(peace, peace and peace)," the ministry said in a release.