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Kenyans join world in marking Yoga day

By Ayoki Onyango | July 6th 2016
Yoga enthusiasts turned up in their numbers to mark the annual celebration. [Photo: Ayoki Onyango/Standard]

In 2014, the United Nations adopted June 21, as International Yoga Day after India and 176 other countries sponsored a motion with the world umbrella body to have the day recognised globally.

Kenya was not left behind in these celebrations and this year, Yoga Day was held at the University of Nairobi grounds. The Hindu Council of Kenya and its affiliated organisations made the event successful.

“Yoga is not a religious practice, it is about bringing an individual’s mind and body to harmony. It is a holistic approach to health and well being,” says Manish Parmar, convenor of the event in Kenya.

The day was marked in 20 of the 47 counties including Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyeri, Kitale and Machakos among others.

Some 7,600 participants took part in the event and 500 volunteers, mostly from the Hindu community in Kenya, assisted the participants.

It was a sight to behold at the University grounds seeing so many people assume the different Yoga poses.

The programme to mark this year’s International Yoga Day started in February and by the time it took place the organising committee had reached out to 65 schools and 5,600 students within Nairobi and outskirts.

For Manish and other proponents of Yoga, the practice is said to prevent and cure numerous diseases. It is considered an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental well being. The main components of yoga are postures — a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility and breathing.

Yoga has been found to strengthen concentration, calm a person, improve the body’s core strength as well as increase endurance and flexibility. It also said to rid the body of constipation and other digestive challenges as well as boosting the body’s immunity such that respiratory and allergy problems are kept at bay.

The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways.

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