KFew other cities are as synonymous with bustle as New York – and yet an island of tranquility was created in the middle of Times Square on Monday. Under the motto “Find your inner center at the crossroads of the world”, hundreds of people rolled out their yoga mats on the traffic islands of the busy square of Manhattan on the occasion of World Yoga Day despite the high temperatures and participated in an one-hour yoga class.
The sight of the Indian border police on the border with Tibet was far more impressive than the sight of the advertisements during the sun salutation: A photo published by the authorities shows the police officers doing yoga in front of a mountain panorama. In the city of Bombay, hundreds not only stretched in public places, but yoga sessions were also offered on the train.
In a morning speech, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi again presented himself as an enthusiastic yogi and praised the philosophical teachings of his country as a “protective shield” against the corona virus. Of course, there is no scientific evidence for this – but for the effectiveness of the corona vaccines, which since Monday have also been distributed free of charge to all adults in India.
Even an intangible world heritage site
The more than 2000-year-old yoga class has its origins in Hinduism. While originally a spiritual path in the search for enlightenment through meditation, the practices designed to strengthen the body for long-term meditation positions continued to evolve. Especially in the West, physical exercises have a high priority in yoga practice and inspire many people. Even the German national football team has used the services of a yoga teacher since 2005.
“Recognizing that yoga offers a holistic approach to health and well-being,” the UN General Assembly declared on 21 June as World Yoga Day in December 2014, and UNESCO recognized yoga two years later as an intangible world cultural heritage.