The eighth International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated in Manila on June 21 with a curated event in partnership between the Embassy of India and local institutions, yoga teachers and schools as well as the Indian community organizations.
The celebration was organized at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia.
The highlight of the event was the practice of the comprehensive Common Yoga Protocol by over 200 participants led by leading yoga experts and teachers in the Philippines.
Janice Cuevas, a certified Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher, opened the yoga practice with suryanamaskar (sun salutation). Chandru Mahtani, a yoga teacher with over 35 years experience, led the participants through a sequence of yogasanas.
Clara Day Herrera, a yoga and wellness expert based in Manila, helped participants explore yoga as a tool for relaxation and vitality through pranayama practice.
To close the yoga session, Jennifer Aguas Non shared her meditation practice inspired by her experience of self-transformation through yoga and meditation.
Recognizing their contribution toward creating awareness about yoga and making yoga practice more accessible in the Philippines, India Ambassador Shambhu S. Kumaran greeted local yoga teachers and yoga schools present at the event.
Herrera’s book, “How to Never Diet Forever,” was also launched by Kumaran during the event. The book provides the readers a step-by-step system on achieving holistic health, longevity, beauty, and a life of fulfillment and service to others.
The book draws on Herrera’s education in nutrition and wellness, including her extensive training in the ancient Indian system of yoga and ayurveda in Mysore, India.
Several pre-events were also organized in Manila in the runup to the IDY. These included yoga workshops at Miriam College, Quezon City, and the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines Diliman.
Yoga is practiced in various forms around the world. In the Philippines, yoga continues to grow in popularity with an increasing number of instructors and practitioners going beyond the physical aspects of yoga, and engaging with it as a potent tool of self-refinement.
Over the last few years, several Filipino yoga enthusiasts and teachers have traveled to India, some to receive the required authorization as a teacher, others in search of greater depth and authenticity.
With the annual celebration of IDY, the Embassy of India aims to facilitate a definitive change in the way people perceive and approach health and well-being by making yoga accessible to a large cross-section of people in the Philippines.