The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Thousands turn up for first ever International Yoga Day

 Participants go through the motions during International Yoga Day celebrations held at the University of Nairobi. (Photo: Elvis Ogina/Standard)

More than 5,000 Nairobi residents Sunday joined the world in celebrating the first ever United Nations International Yoga Day.

During the celebrations, which were held at the University of Nairobi's convocation grounds, participants were guided through basic yoga poses that can be practiced at home.

According to Mayur Shir, a convener of the event, yoga practice is about achieving inner peace.

"Yoga is a way of life. It is a physical, mental and spiritual practice and it is a holistic approach to health," he said.

Elsewhere, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta urged Kenyans to learn and practice yoga to benefit from its multi-faceted effects.

The First Lady said yoga, a profound science that harmonises the body with the mind, reduces mental stress and physical tension, thus boosting memory and developing an organised thought pattern.

"The importance of yoga in coping with modern-day health challenges cannot be downplayed," she said.

She spoke during the first International Day of Yoga in Kenya at the UN complex in Gigiri, Nairobi. The day was set aside by the UN General Assembly in December last year to be marked every June 21.

Yoga has spread to many parts of the world and transcends culture, religion, race and geographical location, she said.

Yoga as an alternative medicine, she said, is gaining recognition in the medical field and also helps to reduce over-dependence on costly prescription drugs.

The First Lady said yoga has been used in the management of heart diseases, post-traumatic stress disorder with certain yoga routines known to ease symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and chronic back pain.

"More doctors have become conscious of these benefits and are recommending specific routines as part of their prescribed treatment," she said.

The First Lady said yoga also helps improve flexibility, strength, balance, endurance and cultivate mindfulness while teaching stress coping mechanisms by cultivating a sense of ease.

She noted that the event will now be an annual affair, adding that yoga transcends culture, religion, race and geographical location.

India's High Commissioner to Kenya Yogeshwar Varma said the inaugural UN Yoga Day was being commemorated in 192 countries of the world.

The High Commissioner described yoga as a way of life whose practice promotes body balance, increases self-awareness and rejuvenates the practitioner.

Others who spoke include UNON Secretary General Sahle-Work Zewde, who delivered Secretary General's Ban Ki Moon's message and University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi.

Other notable public figures who attended the event included Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts Hassan Wario, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett, Chief Executive Officer of Bidco Vimal Shah and industrialist Manu Chandaria among others.

They all encouraged people to take up the practice, with Dr Wario saying yoga influences the way we think of ourselves both physically and spiritually.

Mr Boinett encouraged people to work together towards combating the insecurity in the country.

"It is the responsibility of security agencies to tackle insecurity, but we need partners to work with collaboratively," he said.

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week