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Rediff.com  » News » PHOTOS: When New York's Time Square turned into yoga square

PHOTOS: When New York's Time Square turned into yoga square

Last updated on: June 22, 2015 17:17 IST

The iconic Times Square turned into Yoga Square as some 30,000 enthusiastic people in colourful dresses performed the ancient spiritual practice, celebrating the first UN International Yoga Day.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who witnessed the yoga practice at Times Square described the day as “historic” and thanked the people for their participation and making the day a grand success. “I congratulate you. It is a historic moment and you have made it doubly historic with your large presence,” she said in her remarks on the occasion. “You are all now ambassadors of Yoga,” she added.

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabard and India’s permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji were also present at the Times Square and briefly addressed the gathering.

 

Over 3,000 people collected for the first International Yoga Day amidst the hustle and bustle of Times Square, to practise various asanas. 

 

Hundreds of yoga mats were distributed and areas were completely covered with peaceful people taking instruction from teachers by loudspeaker.

 

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabard and India’s permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji were also present at the Times Square and briefly addressed the gathering.

 

Many participants said that the event was great and the serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of New York felt fantastic. 

 

The International Yoga Day event coincided with the annual session in Times Square for yoga on the first day of summer.

 

 

The participants all dressed in spandex twisted and turned their bodies into various postures. 

 

The event, which saw large numbers of people, also had a webcast – meaning that it was streamed live for yoga enthusiasts around the globe.

 

As the yoga festivity got underway in New York, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave a demonstration of how yoga benefits everybody at a seminar.

Shankar said yoga breeds peaceful and creative citizens, and that it brings unity across world religions, races, and people of various nationalities.

 

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon also joined hundreds of students and yoga practitioners to perform asanas and mediate under the guidance of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the UN headquarters. 

 

 

The UN chief was in full yoga mode as he wore a specially commissioned tracksuit by the Indian mission. 

 

Ban sportingly tried to stand on one leg, bend backwards and sideways, lay on the back and stomach as the spiritual leader asked the attendees to inhale and exhale and do various yoga postures.

 

Ban hailed the many benefits the ancient exercise could bring to people around the world. "To all of you I say: Namaste!" the UN leader told the crowd.

 

 

US Congresswoman Tusli Gabbard also later joined in the asanas.

 
Apart from the diplomats, around 50 school children who had specially flown in from India also did yoga during the event.
 
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com