Saudi Arabia is participating in the eighth International Day of Yoga 100-day countdown campaign alongside 100 other countries, as announced by Saudi Yoga Committee President, Nouf Al-Marwaai. To pay tribute to the campaign, the International Day of Yoga 2022 (IDY), otherwise known as Yoga Mahotsav, Al-Marwaai also announced the launch of an 81-day yoga awareness program across the country. This lifestyle associated campaign has a virtual opening event on April 1st 2022, 100 days ahead of International Day of Yoga which takes place annually on June 21st.
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Formally recognized for its health benefits under UN resolution 69/131, the global event hopes to promote yoga and its health benefits. This year, the theme is “Health, Well-being and World Peace.” The international event has been organized by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) under India’s Ministry of AYUSH, an “institution established for research, development and education in ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy.”
MDNIY Director Dr. Ishwar Basavaraddi said that this year’s campaign will “cover 100 days, 100 cities and 100 organizations in the lead-up to International Day of Yoga.” He continued, “The campaign’s program will include yoga demonstrations, workshops and seminars in India and across the globe.” For Saudi Arabia’s April 1st virtual opening event, there were yoga lessons, a class with Faisal Al Awaji. A registered trainer, a vinyasa session with Samah Diab, and pranayama and meditation classes with Bhola Shanker of the Himalayan meditation tradition.
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In a speech at the opening event, Nouf Al Marwaai said, “We are honored to be part of Yoga Mahotsav 2022. As we prepare to celebrate the International Day of Yoga, it is a very important to highlight yoga’s message for health, well-being and world peace. With today’s challenges around the world, yoga promotion is needed the most,” also stating that Saudi Arabia is embracing yoga and enjoying it.
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“Embracing yoga is a clear and beautiful example that embodies the life quality enhancement in the Kingdom as part of Saudi Vision 2030,” said Saudi certified yoga instructor and architect Shahad Khalid. She also added, “By supporting sport communities and healthy lifestyles, yoga is a way for individuals to increase their awareness and connect with their bodies, with countless health benefits.”