Yoga is a small initiative which has manifold sustained positive effects on the physical, mental, and spiritual health at large. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing the people after inaugurating the 5th International Yoga Day 2019 organized by the Embassy of India by lighting the lamp at Dam Square, Amsterdam in Netherlands today. Chief Minister was the Chief Guest of this mega event held at Dam Square, the main centre of Amsterdam. This is the biggest International Yoga Day celebrations ever seen in the Netherlands. The celebration was organized by the Embassy of India in association with yoga enthusiasts of the Netherlands. It was a whole day wellness festival with group yoga demonstrations, meditation sessions, music, dance, and vegetarian as well as vegan food.Chief Minister said that International Day of Yoga was celebrated throughout the world for first time on 21st of June in 2015 on the earnest call given by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to the United Nations General Assembly on 27th of September in 2014 during his address to the UN General Assembly. He said that today over 170 countries including USA, China, Canada, etc. were participating in the event. He said that today everybody has conviction about Yoga practices towards the prevention of disease, maintenance and promotion of health. Millions and millions of people across the globe have benefitted by the practice of Yoga and it was blossoming and growing more vibrant with each passing day, he said.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means union of the individual consciousness or sole with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. It is a system of raising our ability to enhance and realize our ultimate nature and exploration of the very mechanics of life, it is gift to the humanity to lead a happy and healthy life, he added.Representatives of Dutch armed forces participated in the Traditional Yoga session. Dutch Ministry of Defense has introduced yoga exercises for armed forces to enrich their training program and reduce stress.Over 3000 persons gathered in front of the Royal Palace on dam square in the heart of the capital city of the Netherlands to mark International Yoga Day. It was for the first time the Dam Square was host to a public event related to India. The Square is the historical centre of Amsterdam with the neoclassical Royal Palace, the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the Madame Tussauds Amsterdam and the National Monumenterected in 1956 for the victims of World War II. Special permission for the same was provided by the City of Amsterdam at the request of the Indian Embassy. Representatives of the Royal Dutch army also joined the celebrations for the first time. They participated in the group common yoga protocol session and also led the public in a special yoga workshop. Dutch Ministry of Defense has introduced yoga exercises for armed forces to enrich their training program and reduce stress.
Yoga is taught weekly at various barracks and yoga instructors have been recruited to strengthen the physical and mental fitness of soldiers.A unique addition to the program this year was also the promotion of Indian handicrafts through a ‘Made in India’ display featuring live demonstrations by five national award winning master artisans from India throughout the day.In a parallel venue called The Yoga Hut, competitions in sun salutations and yoga pose challenges were held along with special sessions on therapeutic yoga etc. A Stall put up by the Maharishi Ayurveda Centre provided advice on yoga, wellness and healthy living while five special food trucks provided vegetarian and vegan food as well as vegan ice cream for the participants and onlookers.A short film produced by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department was also screened on the occasion.Ambassador of India to Netherlands Shri Venu Rajamony welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion.International Cricket Star Suresh Raina, Dutch actor, model and photographer Ms. Micky Hoogendijk, Mr. V.K. Arora, Chariman and Managing Director of LT Foods and Dr. Deepak Mittal, Chairman, International Tractors Ltd. took part in the opening ceremony.Industries Minister Shri Bikram Singh, Additional Chief Secretary cum Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Dr. Shrikant Baldi , Additional Chief Secretary Industries, Manoj Kumar, Director Industries Hans Raj Sharma, Special Secretary Abid Husain Sadiq, Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister Vinay Singh, representatives of CII, Himachal and other senior officers were present on the occasion.