V.K. SANTOSH KUMAR
More than 150 people braved the rain to do asanas at the Marina Barrage on Tuesday to mark International Yoga Day (IYD).
Among the participants at the event organised by the High Commission of India was Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth and Social and Family Development Eric Chua, who said: "I thoroughly enjoyed myself today.
"This event has a special significance because it signals to everyone we are crawling out of Covid and life is almost back to normal now. I was happy to see many people out there after what we have gone through."
Across Singapore, 68 yoga sessions are being held this week to mark IYD, which was proposed by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations in 2014 and approved the following year for June 21 to be IYD.
"Holding our flagship session at the iconic Marina Barrage, there was so much enthusiasm despite the rain," said India's Deputy High Commissioner Siddhartha Nath.
"It was also significant that Singapore was chosen to be part of The Guardian Ring."
The Guardian Ring, a seamless streaming of 80 yoga events worldwide from 3am to 10pm India time, underlines the "One Sun, One Earth" concept and showcases the unifying power of yoga.
This year's IYD theme was Yoga For Humanity, with an emphasis on "promoting sustainable lifestyle in harmony with planet Earth".
Around five million people worldwide took part in different events on Tuesday, doing yoga in unison for better health and wellness.
For thousands of years, people have turned to yoga to feel better, release stress and rejuvenate their overall physical and mental health. Originating in ancient India, yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice.
"Yoga is the best exercise for the human body and mind," said Yogi Sukhdev.
"It also helps blood circulation and improves the functioning of the brain. You feel 50 per cent younger."
Entrepreneur Jessica Chee, who was at Marina Barrage with her Green Buddies group, said: "Yoga is very important for our well-being. It is so simple, yet so powerful."
For yoga instructor Latha Kannan, the day's programme was "very beautiful".
She said: "Yoga has grown many folds in Singapore over the past 10 years. Today, many people practise it, especially with the onset of the pandemic, as they see it as a good way to enhance mental and physical health."