Scottish Hindu Foundation celebrates International Day of Yoga in Glasgow

Scottish Hindu Foundation celebrates International Day of Yoga in Glasgow

Scotland's International Day of Yoga was celebrated on June 22 at the Kelvin Hall Art Gallery, Argyle Street, Glasgow, as a unique event hosted by the Scottish Hindu Foundation.

International Yoga Day falls on the Summer Solstice recognised by the United Nations as a day of health and wellbeing. This year Scotland's Yoga Day began with traditional Vedic recitation to bless the proceedings and participants. In keeping with tradition, the attendees were then witness to a Bharatnatayam recital dedicated to Lord Shiva performed by Mrs Manimegalai Arun invoking the spirit of rejuvenation, wellbeing and positivity for the soul.

The opening ceremony had three guest speakers Mary Morgan, Chief Executive of NHS Scotland, Dr Shalini Kakar and Shri Amit Kumar Chaudhary from the Vice Consul of the Indian Consulate in Scotland.

Mary Morgan spoke eloquently about the benefits of Yoga citing numerous studies clearly showing the holistic benefits yoga can have on both physical and mental health and wellbeing. She went on to note that Yoga outreach fosters community and inclusivity, especially in underserved areas. Social prescribing connects individuals to non-medical support, enhancing holistic health and well-being through community resources.

Dr Shalini Karkar’s delivered an address entitled “Yoga and Health”, reflecting upon the relationship between Yoga and Health. She stated Yoga promotes holistic well-being, addressing physical, emotional, and mental health. Articulating that Yoga effectively treats conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression. Going on to cite studies showing Yoga programs reducing healthcare costs and improving health outcomes. Initiatives like the one in Edinburgh provide accessible yoga in deprived areas. Introducing yoga in schools and as social prescriptions can enhance public health, reduce GP and A&E visits, and lower NHS workload. Sharing her own personal experience affirms yoga's transformative health benefits.

Amit Kumar Chaudhary, Vice Consul of India, commended Scotland's International Day of Yoga for its significant role in promoting health and community wellbeing. He highlighted the Ministry of Ayush's dedication to advancing yoga as a holistic health system, emphasising its numerous benefits. The Vice Consul shared that the ministry runs similar successful programs and is enthusiastic about collaborating with Scotland. He assured that the Ministry of AYUSH is ready and willing to share resources and expertise, fostering a global exchange of knowledge. This partnership aims to enhance the effectiveness of yoga initiatives, benefiting individuals and communities in Scotland and beyond.

The event featured multiple live yoga demonstrations and lessons led by trained instructors and teachers, attracting enthusiastic learners from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Participants actively engaged in learning various yoga practices, reflecting the inclusive and universal appeal of this ancient Indian tradition. The sessions highlighted the physical, mental, spiritual, and overall health benefits of yoga, making it accessible to everyone seeking its transformative power.


Scottish Hindu Foundation celebrates International Day of Yoga in Glasgow
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Yoga, as demonstrated at the event, is highly adaptable and can be suited for all ages and ability levels. This flexibility ensures that everyone, regardless of their physical condition, can benefit from yoga. Examples of the yoga styles showcased included Vinyasa Flow Yoga, known for its dynamic and fluid movements; Hatha Yoga, focusing on postural alignment and breathing; and Seasonal Yoga Flow, which adapts practices to the changing seasons.

Therapeutic Yoga was also featured, emphasising healing and recovery, while Body Clock Flow aligned practices with the body's natural rhythms. Breathing workshops taught participants the art of pranayama for mental clarity and stress reduction. Chair Yoga made the practice accessible to those with limited mobility.

Other highlights included The Art of Living sessions, Laughter Yoga to boost mood and immunity, Kadampa Buddhist Meditation for mindfulness, Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) for vitality, and Vedic and divine mantra chanting for spiritual enrichment. These diverse offerings underscored yoga's comprehensive approach to health, uniting body, mind, and spirit, and making its benefits available to all.

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