Pick of the week: Strike a pose with yoga

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led last year’s celebration at Rajpath, Delhi. Photo: Vijay Kumar/PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led last year’s celebration at Rajpath, Delhi. Photo: Vijay Kumar/PIB

Chandigarh is all geared up to turn “Yogpath” on 21 June, International Yoga Day. The celebrations, of course, will not be restricted to one city. Big events are being organized across the world to observe the day, which was internationally recognized by the UN general assembly on 11 December 2014.

We have curated a list of some of the events in three cities—so go, breathe, stretch and bend.


Central Park, Connaught Place:

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will organize yoga sessions for people in the 41,500 sq. m park from early morning. If commuting to Central Park is a hassle, don’t worry, the NDMC has planned similar events in Lodhi Gardens, Nehru Park and Talkatora Garden. All the events will have instructors showcasing asanas. Mats will be provided at the venues.

21 June (6am). Venues vary. For details, visitwww.ndmc.gov.in

Laughter Yoga Therapy: Learn to start your day by rolling on the floor laughing—that’s the idea of this one-and-a-half-hour workshop at Zorba, open to those aged 15 and above. Facilitator Sukhvinder, who uses only one name, will encourage participants to focus on enjoying themselves rather than forcing laughs. “We combine deep, yogic breathing and simple asanas with laughter exercises (thinking about some past embarrassing incident, laughing at each other) to cultivate playfulness,” says Zorba’s director Ashwin Bharti.

17 June (6.30am). Zorba—The Buddha, 7, Tropical Drive, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. You can register on the spot. Fee,Rs.1,500. For details, call 9250361909.


Martand Yoga Fest: You’ll be able to see more than five performances in this 3-hour session that blends yoga with various exercise forms. A group of blind students will perform asanas like the Head Pose and the Bakasana while balancing a candle each on their heads. Another group will perform Acroyoga, a form that combines asanas with acrobatics, while “Musical Yoga” will see a group exercising to classical music. “Fast-paced music and dance add a sense of excitement to yoga, they make it more attractive, especially for youngsters who think of it as a slow, boring exercise form,” says Shilpa Mangesh Sangle, founder of the Mumbai-based non-profit Aadhar Welfare Foundation, the festival organizer.

21 June (10.30am). Prabodhankar Thakare Natya Mandir, Borivali (West). For details, call 9769477915.

Mumbai Yoga Fest: Shammi’s Yogalaya, a yoga centre, is organizing this three-day festival from 19 June. It aims to raise awareness about all things yoga—from various asanas, to yoga therapies that address health problems like diabetes and asthma, and meditation. On the third day, which coincides with International Yoga Day, there will be a Suryathon, a marathon of Surya Namaskars.

Timings and venues vary. For details, visitwww.mumbaiyogafest.com


World Yoga Day Festival: Live music, yoga and meditation—that is how Total Yoga, a city-based school, plans to celebrate the day. Echoing the words of Mumbai’s Sangle, Neetu Singh, co-founder of Total Yoga, says, “People are more engaged when there is music playing.” The 2-hour session is open to all.

18 June (7.30am). UB City, 24, Vittal Mallya Road . Fee, Rs.500. To register, visit in.bookmyshow.com

Stick Yoga: Yoga blocks and straps are passé—make way for the newest prop, a bamboo stick, says yoga instructor Regeesh Vattakandy of the Aayana Yoga Academy. “Sticks can be used for better alignment and for getting deeper into a posture,” he says.

19 June (7.30am). Cubbon Park, Rama Nagar. Entry free, but seats are limited. To book yours, call 9880414890 or visit Aayanayoga.com.

Ashtanga Yoga Workshop: Want to know the secret behind pop star Madonna’s enviable figure? Ashtanga Yoga is one of the most practised forms of yoga across the world. Attend this 3-hour workshop by Bengaluru-based Ashtanga teacher Prasad Bhatdundi.

18 June ( 9am). Arts Village, St Marks Road. Fee, Rs.800. For registration, call 9449208616.


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