People from all walks of life came together to celebrate the first International Yoga Day in Hawaii June 21.
The Gandhi International Institute for Peace initiated a bill in the state legislature in January to recognize June 21 as International Yoga Day. Hawaii’s Governor David Y. Ige signed the bill into ACT 102 on June 26.
The celebration, held at Still and Moving Center in Honolulu, honored both this achievement in Hawaii and the practice of yoga itself, stated a press release. The event opened and closed with the chanting of Sanskrit mantras. An aerial yoga demonstration showed a new take on an old tradition. Attendees were invited onto mats to perform several different yoga styles. Free refreshments were served to the public.
The practice of yoga, originally from India, goes back thousands of years. Done regularly with proper technique, modern research shows that yoga adds significantly to the quality of life, added the press release issued by the Gandhi International Institute for Peace.
“Yoga is a way of life, it creates a balance at the physical, mental/emotional and spiritual level,” said Dr. Raj Kumar, president of the Gandhi International Institute for Peace, and author of a book on yoga, “The secrets of Health and Healing.”
Kumar told India-West that he received a certificate of appreciation from Senator Mike Gabbard for raising awareness about health and peace in Hawaii.
“We, studio owners, watch intense, stressed out people arrive for yoga classes every day,” said Renée Tillotson, director and owner of Still & Moving Center. “The students leave class with a relaxed walk, better posture, smooth brow, broad smile, and a general air of enjoyment of life.”
The event was sponsored by Gandhi International Institute for Peace, Still & Moving Center, Cosmic Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Center, Hawaii School of Yoga, Blissful Yogini, Global Media Productions, Hawaii Health Guide, ISKCON temple, Down to Earth, Govinda’s Juice and Creative Cuisine.