New York: Ahead of International Day of Yoga, 'Solstice at Times Square' showcased widespread enthusiasm for yoga in New York City on Thursday. A large number of people participated in the day-long celebration of Yoga at Times Square.

In a press release, the Consulate General of India in New York said, "Consulate General of India in New York, in partnership with Times Square Alliance, celebrated the 10th International Day of Yoga at the iconic Times Square of New York City, on June 20, 2024."

"The day-long celebration of Yoga, also known as 'Solstice at Times Square', featured seven yoga sessions, in which about 10,000 people from across nationalities participated, showcasing the widespread enthusiasm for yoga in New York City and the US," it added.

The Consul General of India in New York, Binaya Pradhan, greeted the participants and highlighted the benefits of Yoga for both physical health and spiritual well-being, as well as its role in promoting harmony with nature.

Speaking at the event, Binaya Pradhan said, "Today we are celebrating International Day of Yoga at the Times Square along with our RR partner which is Times Square Alliance. As you could see, we have yoga participants from several nationalities, and this is going to go on for the entire day today. We are expecting about 8,000 to 10,000 participants who do yoga today along with us. I'm really happy that this year, the theme of the yoga day is yoga for self and society. I'm sure this is going to inspire everybody who is participating here today and around other different parts of the US."

In a press release, the Indian Consulate General in New York said, "The Consulate is organising a month-long celebration of International Day of Yoga in States under its jurisdiction such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, etc, which are very well received and have seen active participation from yoga enthusiasts."

This year marks the 10th International Day of Yoga and is being celebrated under the theme 'Yoga for self and society'.

In December 2014, the United Nations unanimously adopted a resolution piloted by India to celebrate the International Day of Yoga on June 21 which is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly. Since 2015, the International Day of Yoga has been celebrated across the globe enhancing awareness about the multifaceted benefits of Yoga.

On Thursday, the Indian Embassy in the US organized a Yoga session in Washington, DC ahead of the 10th edition of the International Day of Yoga. A large number of people participated in the yoga session on Thursday organized at The Wharf in Washington, DC.

Sripriya Ranganathan, Deputy Ambassador at the Indian embassy in the US, said that India has brought yoga to the centre stage.

"The role that India has played in bringing this centre stage, taking it to the UN and making this a day in which we come together to recognize the power of yoga and to recognize how yoga can add value to our lives and how yoga is very contemporary," she said.

Ranganathan further said that it goes back 5000-6000 years, however, it remains so current. "It's an ancient tradition. It's a wellness tradition that goes back 5000, 6000 years, but it remains so current," she said.
The Deputy Ambassador further stressed that the value of yoga has now far more appreciation, adding that it has become a part of every family, community and institution.

"There is far more of an appreciation of the value of yoga. It's become really a part of every family, every community, every institution to start thinking about how yoga can bring value to their lives and to help the members of that community and their families in dealing with the challenges that we face in the world today," she told ANI.

Ranganathan added that now, even young people and students are also very involved in this and look at yoga as a wholesome and holistic tradition.
"I see wherever I go in the US that young people, students, particularly kids in college...are very involved in this. Initially, they come in in terms of seeing this as a physical fitness tradition. But I think they move on very quickly to see what a wholesome and holistic tradition," she said.

(With Agency Inputs)