Over 3,500 people signed up to attend Houston’s first International Day of Yoga celebration. The festivity, which was conceived on Dec. 11 of last year, was officially declared by the U.N. General Assembly to take place annually on June 21.
From now on, the world will have a yearly reminder of the many reasons to celebrate life. The free event, hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center, did the unthinkable: it brought together people from all paths of life.
Attendees came in little by little, many with coffee in their hands, embracing the bright new morning; they all unrolled their yoga mats, took a seat in the spacious, cold, venue and celebrated yoga as one.
The event began with the singing of the national anthems of both India and the United States.
“We practice yoga when we’re disciplined,” said Harish Parvathaneni, Houston’s Consul General of India.
The event proceeded after a lighting of the torch with speeches from prominent figures.
Al Green, a representative of Texas’ 9th Congressional District, gave a very powerful speech applauding those who made the extra effort to wake up early that Sunday morning.
“I thank him for bringing peace to America,” said Congressman Green, who expressed gratitude towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support of International Yoga Day. Multiple community and yoga leaders were then awarded recognitions by the Consulate General of India, Houston.
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 percent of American adults practice yoga. That’s 21 million people.
The event then slowly transitioned into a yoga session where all attendees struck a pose, inhaled and exhaled as one, like never before.
Soon it was time for lunch, where yogis could purchase catered lunch and visit the nearby tents to participate in more sessions.
Events like these shine light to more awareness on living a full life, rich in body and mind peacefulness.
By Sebastian Troitino