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Speech by His Excellency Mr. Sailas Thangal, Ambassador of India at the celebration of the 06th International Day of Yoga

Posted on: June 21, 2021 | Back | Print

Yoga is stronger than Corona- Amb Sailas Thangal


Yoga is a refined product of Indian civilization and is an invaluable gift of ancient India to the world. Yoga is a Sanskrit word derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means to connect, join or balance. There is no single definition of yoga. However, as we celebrate this year’s International Day of Yoga, let us recall a few words from H.E. Prime Minister Modi, who told the UN General Assembly that “Yoga is not just about exercise; Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. It is a way to discover the sense of oneness, with yourself, the world and nature”.


Yoga is a way of life that aims towards 'a healthy mind in a healthy body'. Human beings are a combination of physical, mental and spiritual beings; practice of yoga helps promote a balanced development of all the three beings. The true essence of yoga revolves around achieving this balance through a series of physical and mental exercises.


At the physical level, the methods consist of various yoga postures or asanas that aim to keep the body healthy. The mental techniques include breathing exercises or ‘pranayama’ and meditation or ‘dhyana’ to discipline the mind. Yoga brings together these physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind; it helps manage stress and anxiety which allows the yoga practitioner to remain unperturbed and joyful even among the chaotic and stressful outside world.


Yoga because of these benefits has already become immensely popular in every part of the world and is believed to be practiced by millions. Yoga can be practiced by one and all, regardless of their strength, age or ability as it brings benefits to one’s physical and mental health.

The year 2020 brings a serious challenge to our own livelihood and life due to the rapid spread of Covid-19. Serenity and balance of mind and body of every individual is being challenged today due to this pandemic by forcing every individual into their homes spawning anxieties, fears and boredom. In these critical times the best thing that every individual should do is to keep oneself composed and calm and follow the safety protocols to keep this unseen enemy of mankind at bay.

One of the best ways to stay calm and composed is to maintain the balance of our body and mind. It has been proven beyond doubt that practice of yoga not only helps to build immunity but also help maintain this balance. This makes Yoga one of the best answers to this unprecedented challenge of Covid-19 the world is experiencing.  

Much as we would like to because of safety measures we could not organize the International Yoga Day-2020 (IDY) in a usual way. However, taking the advantage of technology, the Embassy of India in Abidjan is trying to fulfil the desires of yoga lovers and organize this year's IDY in a different way with a theme “Yoga is Stronger Than Corona”. The event will be led by Yoga Guru Mr Phillip Torela and will be live-streamed on social media (facebook, Twitter & website). All are most welcome to tune in and join us from your own home on 21 June starting at 0830 hrs.

I also request all our media friends to kindly play a positive role in popularizing this important cultural event through your newspapers, magazine, social media network etc. I thank one and all for working together with the Embassy of India for their great support in popularizing this ancient tradition for the benefits of mankind.