Odishatv Bureau

Houston: Thousands of yoga enthusiasts in Texas and adjoining US states are all set to roll out their mats to bend and twist their bodies in complex postures from the safety of their homes with acclaimed yoga guru Baba Ramdev on livestream to mark the International Day of Yoga on June 21 amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The two-hour live programme from 10 am to 12 noon will commence with an opening ceremony and brief remarks by Aseem R Mahajan, the Consul General of India in Houston, followed by a yoga session with postures, breathing techniques and meditation led by baba Ramdev, the Indian consulate here said.

The Consulate General of India (CGI) in Houston brings the Yoga Day celebrations to cities across Texas and its adjoining states of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Nebraska, in collaboration with several supporting organisations.

"This year's International Day of Yoga, themed 'Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family', will be celebrated only on digital platforms in view of the coronavirus pandemic," Consul General Mahajan told PTI.

"The event highlights the intrinsic link between yoga and sustainability and the idea is to encourage people on how to stay active and healthy amidst this lockdown," he said.

Since the last five years, people in Texas have been celebrating the Yoga Day in mass gatherings at sprawling parks, followed by throwing colour on another like in Holi and dancing to the tunes of popular Bollywood songs.

However, this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions on large public gatherings and the social distancing measures in place, the decision to take the celebrations to every home though the digital platform has been lauded by the yoga enthusiasts.

San Antonio in Texas will celebrate the day on June 20. An all-day 'yogathon' with free yoga community classes will be streamed live throughout the day.

The session will begin at 6 am in the morning and culminate with their flagship class at the Rivercentre Mall at 6 pm in evening. All classes will be streamed live on the IDY YouTube channel located on their website.

iDoYoga San Antonio is raising USD 15,000 for yoga teachers impacted by the pandemic. The funds will be used to award grants of USD 500 each to 30 local teachers who make their living teaching yoga.

Recalling Swami Ramdev's visit to India House, Houston in 2018, Col Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House, expressed his delight that the yoga guru would again be visiting India House, "though virtually".

Encouraging people to join yoga sessions in these turbulent times, president of Patanjali Yogpeeth USA, Shekhar Agrawal, said, "These techniques are a powerful tool to help people tap into their inner calm as they deal with isolation, anxiety and stress due to the pandemic."

Event coordinator Sharad Amin said this year's Yoga day Day will be dedicated to the corona warriors -- the heroic front liners and first responders who put their lives on the line every day so they can save the lives of those affected by the deadly virus


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