Bradford Hindu Communities unities to Mark International Yoga Day

International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Bradford on Sunday 20th June. The Bradford Hindu Council (BHC) brought Hindu organisations from across the Bradford District and surrounding areas together to organise a Zoom Yoga event. The event was co-ordinated by Harkishan Mistry and Jayaraj Nambiar with the support of the entire team from Bradford Hindu Council. The event attracted over 70 zoom accounts and numerous others joined us via our Facebook live event. Over 150 participants from different backgrounds with the youngest participant being 5, right up to over the age of 75 years! International Yoga Day tee shirts were received from the Indian High Commission in Birmingham, which were worn by a number of the participants.

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness. Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. Yoga and meditation contribute in a holistic way to achieving equilibrium between mind and body. Regular practice of Yoga can result in multiple benefits to health and wellbeing which can only but benefit the society in which we live.

The Programme was:

  • 11:00: Introduction / Welcome by Chief Guest Kersten England CEO of Bradford Council
  • 11:10: Yoga Session including meditation (Conducted by 2 Instructors)
  • 12:20: Video – Why International Yoga Day
  • 12:25: Vote of Thanks

The programme was expertly conducted by:

  • Satish Shah has practiced yoga and cardio fitness for over 30 years. Over the last 18 months he has enhanced his yoga skills. At the age 68 he is still very active mountaineer, dinghy sailor, scuba diver and seasoned trekker. Currently very active with CTA – Charity Through Adventure and the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.
  • Shivani Gopal, who has recently completed her GCSE exams, has been practicing yoga for about 5 years and meditation for about 2 years. Does running in her spare time and has a deep love for nature and the outdoors. At her school, she has assisted in teaching weekly yoga sessions to her peers by demonstrating the various asanas and educating them about the origins of yoga

Our Chief Guest Kersten England welcomed everyone to the event,  and said “the practice of yoga and meditation is so incredibly important and at Bradford Council we have whole agenda and commitment  around wellbeing and our strap line is we want every resident to be Happy, Health and be at home. We don’t want residents to be in and out of hospitals and dependant on drugs. We are investing more and more of our funds into creating those basis foundations for wellbeing. I feel that the Hindu community and practice of Yoga can be a significant contributor to this programme. For today let us celebrate and enjoy the practise of Yoga and its ability to strengthen our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. I have got my yoga mat, bottle of water, blanket, and sturdy chair ready to join in and I would like to thank the Bradford Hindu Council for inviting me to take part today.”

Kersten put the following message in our group chat at the end “Fab and challenging. Will definitely look up the weekly sessions.”

Other comments in the group chat were

“Well done to both Yoga, Instructors excellent clear execution and presentation, making it easy to follow and take part for all. Happy International Yoga Day!”

“Credit to BHC for organising. Well done, thank you!”

“Absolutely wonderful session could do with some WD40 for my joints though.”

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