First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones will lead celebrations to mark this year's International Yoga Day (June 21st) at a free event being hosted at the National Indoor Athletics Centre, at Cardiff Metropolitan University's Cyncoed Campus in Cardiff on Sunday 19th June.
Organised by the Honorary Consul of India for Wales, Raj Aggarwal OBE, yoga enthusiasts and novices, friends and family alike are all invited to join the event to celebrate the 5,000 year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated in Northern India.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi – who has sent a personal message of support for the Cardiff event which will be relayed on the day - called for the adoption of June 21 as International Day of Yoga during an address to UN General Assembly in September 2014 stating:
"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment - harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.
In Suggesting June 21 - the summer solstice - as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Narendra Modi added:
"The date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world."
Recognising its universal appeal and following this address, in December 2014, the United Nations declared June 21 International Yoga Day and it was observed globally for the first time last year. Over 175 nations co-sponsored the resolution – the highest number to ever co-sponsor such a resolution.
Speaking about his support for the event, the First Minister said:
"Yoga is not only a great way for people to keep fit and healthy, it also helps focus the mind and allows people to relax and unwind from the stresses and strains of modern life.
"I am pleased to take part in this global event to celebrate the 5000 year-old practice of yoga, which originated in North India. Wales has a strong relationship with India and I have been fortunate to visit the vast and beautiful country many times in recent years as we continue to develop our valued business ties."
Honorary Consul of India for Wales, Raj Aggarwal added:
"We are delighted that the First Minister will be joining us to celebrate International Yoga Day - a great opportunity for Cardiff and Wales as a whole to join the world in celebrating this timeless practice, which can be enjoyed by all; young or old, it does not discriminate and promotes respect for fellow human beings and the planet.
"For those new to yoga, this could be a taster, or for those experienced, a slightly different type of session to enjoy - the message is that all are welcome, so come and join us!"
International Yoga Day at Cardiff Metropolitan University will be celebrated on Sunday, 19th June between 10am and 11:30am. The day will include yoga demonstrations and guest participation. Individuals of all ages are welcome and encouraged to bring friends and family.
For more information about the event, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org