WASHINGTON, D.C – HinduPACT volunteers have helped organize and will participate in the annual World Yoga Day at the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital on Saturday, June 18 at 9 AM.
Yoga is over 5,000 years old and was officially introduced to America in the 19th Century by Swami Vivekananda. The United Nations officially proclaimed June 21 as International Yoga Day on December 11, 2014; a date that coincides with the rise of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership position he holds to this day as. June 21 is the summer solstice and is the longest day of the year; a highly auspicious day.
“I had the honor of being involved in the first International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015 in Washington, D.C.,” said HinduPACT Executive Director Utsav Chakrabarti. “It’s critically important that events like these are popularized, especially with the visible increase in anti-Hindu activism and hate campaigns being used to target Hindu communities across the world, as well as in America. Every aspect of Hindu dharma is connected to Yoga, because Yoga is not just Asanas or Dhyana but integral to Hindu epistemology and soteriology.”
“Yoga has captivated tens of millions of Americans over the past few decades and it is estimated that approximately 20 million Americans currently actively practice yoga” said VHPA President and HinduPACT Convenor Ajay Shah. “The Hindu way of life is no longer in minority. It has become mainstream.”
The word “yoga” is derived from Sanskrit and literally translates to “union”.
“At a time when our nation and world are broken, driven by fear and division, yoga provides an opportunity for healing through the bridging of Brahman (ultimate divinity) and Atman (soul) through unity of the soul and the physical world around it,” said Adelle Nazarian, HinduPACT Director of Legislative Outreach and Communications. Yoga has become a universal language and the increase of its presence into the mainstream has raised the level of collective consciousness, bringing us steps closer to the path to Moksha (enlightenment, liberation and release).”