Popularity of Yoga expands to Cuba
The Indian Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) is celebrating the growing popularity of Yoga in Cuba and highlighted that the "timeless gift” from India is a “universal inheritance" which is now finding disciples across the globe.
An AYUSH Ministry statement this week said the Indian Embassy in Havana has provided details that Prof. Eduardo Pimentel Vazquez, President and Founder of the Cuban Yoga Association, is a leading figure in the discipline of Yoga in the country and has been teaching Yoga in Cuba for 30 years, training at least 50 instructors.
"This is a significant contribution to the sustainable growth of Yoga in Cuba, a country with a population of 1.13 crore (around 11 million)," the ministry said.
It said a recent interview of Pimentel Vazquez has been widely circulated and it throws light on how Yoga has become popular in the country.
"People of all ages are spotted in parks, rooms, and museums performing Yoga, and a visitor from India cannot be faulted for a brief illusion that he is back home in Mysuru or Haridwar. The number of participants in Yoga activities in Cuba is increasing every day," it added.
As per the interview, it was a book that changed the life of Pimentel Vazquez. He was a chess player since he was 12 and was gifted a book on Yoga and witnessed Yoga techniques in 1972. He started practicing by following books and has not stopped studying Yoga ever since.
The ministry said he defines Yoga as a philosophy more than anything else and notes that it is of immense interest to the Western world, especially its physical practise. Vazquez has also taught Yoga lessons in the US, Brazil, and Mexico.
In his last book published in 2018, ‘Tu Session de Yoga’ (Your Yoga Session), he notes that Yoga is a preventive system and that it has been acknowledged as part of the Traditional and Natural Medicine Department of the globally acclaimed Ministry of Public Health of Cuba since 1995.
Vazquez believes that a single posture doesn't make a Yoga session and recommends practising a series. His favourite postures for releasing stress includes Trikonasana – or the Triangle Pose (pictured).
As a result of this growing popularity, International Day of Yoga (IDY) is also observed in Cuba with considerable enthusiasm every year in June.