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Consul General Kicks Off International Day of Yoga 2017

Consul General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray seen with yoga teachers at the IDY kickoff at his residence. Photo by Shobana Muratee.

Consul General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray seen with yoga teachers at the IDY kickoff at his residence. Photo by Shobana Muratee.

by Shobana Muratee
HOUSTON – Consul General of India in Houston Dr. Anupam Ray had a formal kick off for the International Day of Yoga (IDY) that falls on June 21, 2017, at his resident on Briar Grove on Friday June 16, 2017. About 20 members comprising of heads of Indo-American organizations, local yoga teachers and practitioners and the media gathered to discuss the purpose and relevance of the International Day of Yoga and strategized outreach plans on making IDY a grand success. This is the 3rd year of observance since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014 as a result of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s proposal. This year, the event will be hosted by the Consulate General of India, Houston on Wednesday, June 21 at the Levy Park in Houston at 6PM. The yoga session will be led by Robert Boustany, guru and founder of the Pralaya yoga who has been teaching yoga for 45 years. Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray will give his opening remarks on the day. Lindsey Law (RYT 500) who teaches Prayala yoga and Vishwarupa N, Director VYASA will also conduct the sessions on that day. At the end of the program, at 8:15 PM will be the color powder dance party that was hit last year at the Discovery Park.
On Saturday, June 24 starting at 7AM, the Hindu Temple of Woodlands will be hosting the IDY in the Woodlands at the town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins Dr. The Woodlands, Texas. The events in Houston are being organized in association with Arya Samaj, iBAM Org, India House, Hindu Swyansevak Sangh, Brahma Kumaris, HTW-EYS, VYASA, ISHA Foundation, Art of Living Foundation, Hindus of Greater Houston, Ismaili Council, Prayala Yoga, Ekal Vidyalaya and Patanjali Yogpeeth.

Guests who attended the kick-off at Consul General’s residence seen with Consul General Dr. Ray and Dy. Consul General Surendra Adhana (far left). Photos by Shobana Muratee

Guests who attended the kick-off at Consul General’s residence seen with Consul General Dr. Ray and Dy. Consul General Surendra Adhana (far left). Photos by Shobana Muratee

Speaking to the guests Consul General Dr. Ray said primary purpose of the meeting was to express the interest of the Government of India to promote yoga globally, “We have no other agenda in this, other than the fact that we want more and more people doing yoga.” “This is not going to be the last yoga day, there’s going to one next year and the year after. So everything that we do this year is actually a preparation for Yoga Day next year,” CG Dr. Ray added. However, the immediate purpose he said was to get to facilitate in getting to know each other so that a local organizations and studios can coordinate efforts to the extent possible.
During the deliberation, a proposal to form a National Alliance of Yoga was made by Vijay Pallod representing Hindus of Greater Houston who is coordinating on the publicity efforts of IYD in Houston. The Consul General responded by saying that he would support all efforts that would promote yoga. Dr. Ray even urged yoga teaches and organizations to explore the social media and suggested on the lines of having a website, a depository of numbers, an electronic bulletin board, Face Book Page or Webpage to post your yoga events. He also offered the Consulate office’s resources in assisting their efforts through organizing periodic meetings; prepare films on yoga for promotional purposes and spreading the word. “The Embassy in Washington has 50,000 followers; the Ministry of External Affairs (India) has 5 million followers that promote 190 such events. And the buzz that it creates is extraordinary,” he said. There is no orthodoxy in doing it. Yoga is for everyone and can be practiced everywhere,” he stressed.
Vijay Pallod gave an update on the media outreach while Sharad Amin (HSS) listed a few guidelines for participating at the various events. A few video clips from last year IDY and PM Modi’s message were presented.

Koshy Thomas, Publisher, seen presenting the commemorative issue of HealthLine magazine to Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray.

Koshy Thomas, Publisher, seen presenting the commemorative issue of HealthLine magazine to Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray.

Sharad Amin (HSS) speaking about the IDY events in Houston.

Sharad Amin (HSS) speaking about the IDY events in Houston.

On the occasion, Koshy Thomas, Publisher, Voice of Asia and HealthLine magazine presented a commemorative issue of HelathLine on International Day of Yoga to Consul General Ray featuring yoga advocates, teachers and organizations of Houston.
“We are expanding Yoga Day year by year. The largest event last year was in Austin with 1200 people on the weekend,” Dr. Ray said. The following events are being organized in Texas to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
1. Saturday, 17 June 2017 at Tripoint Event Center, San Antonio starting from 0900 hrs.
2. Saturday, 17 June 2017 at State Capitol, Austin starting from 1800 hrs.
3. Wednesday, 21 June 2017 at Levy Park, Houston starting from 1800 hrs. Concurrent events in Austin and San Antonio.
4. Saturday, 24 June 2017 at Town Green Park, Woodlands starting from 0700 hrs.
5. Sunday, 25 June 2017 at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas, Irving starting from 0800 hrs.
Prominent among the guests were Dev Mahajan (Arya Samaj), Shekar Agarwal (Patanjali Yogpeeth), Mark Ram (Brahma Kumaris, Texas), Vijay Pallod and Tara Narasimhan (Hindus of Greater Houston), Sharad Amin (Hindu Swyansevak Sangh) Vishwarupa (VYASA Houston), Col. Vipin Kumar (India House), Lindsey Law (RYT 500), Susan Willett (One Yoga Global), Daksha Shah, Sachin Chitlangia, Alka Mittal, and Rashmi Gupta (Hindu Temple of the Woodlands), Funny Engineer, Shanti, Gitesh Desai, Koshy Thomas (Voice of Asia) and a few others. A delicious homemade dinner was served after the meeting.


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