Capetown: The main event for International Day of Yoga (IDY) was organised by the Consulate General of India at Samaj Centre Hall, Gatesville. The event involved a short introduction to yoga followed by 20-minute film on yoga. Thereafter, Yoga Asanas as per the standard protocol were performed by the attendees. This was followed by a demonstration of advanced yoga postures, a talk on the importance of yoga in life by the Art of Living Foundation, a short meditation session by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and a lecture cum demonstration on breathing techniques and pranayama. The event lasted for two hours and 15 minutes and thereafter light refreshments were served to everyone who attended the event.
More than 250 people took part in the event which included representatives from the local government, community leaders, children and people from all walks of life. The event was welcomed by the local population very enthusiastically. The profile of the people participating in the event at Cape Town truly represented the rainbow character of the nation with people from all walks of life participating in it.
T-Shirts bearing the IDY logo were distributed among the participants alongwith the booklet on the common Yoga Protocol. Copies of the Prime Ministers message were also handed out. Tables were provided outside the hall to various organisations who partnered with the Consulate to organise the event. The Himalaya Drug Company displayed their products and also handed out free samples to the participants. The occasion was also used by the supporting organisations – BKS Iyengar Institute of Yoga, Brahma Kumaris, The Art of Living Foundation, Isha Foundation, Sahaja Yoga and the Ananda Kutir Ashrama – to display their promotional material, brochures and pamphlets.
In addition to the main event, there were two other events organised in Cape Town in association with the Consulate. One by the Ananda Kutir Ashram who celebrated the International Day of Yoga through discourses on Yoga and importance of meditation. The BKS Iyengar Institute of Yoga also celebrated the International Day of Yoga in collaboration with the Consulate General of India. 108 Yoga Asanas were performed for the event.
The overall approach of the Consulate was to treat International Day of Yoga not only as an event but as a larger Soft Power campaign to spread the message of Yoga as a gift from India to the world.