The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated at Amrita Health Sciences Campus on June 20, 2015 to create awareness among students about the importance of Yoga. The function started with Bri. Rahnaji offering Puja to invoke Chancellor Amma’s blessings.
At the outset, the meeting congratulated The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, for having initiated the process for declaring June 21st as International Yoga Day and to honor his efforts the entire audience gave him a standing ovation.
Dr. Prathapan Nair, Principal, Amrita School of Medicine delivered the welcome speech. In his speech, Dr. Prathapan observed that the International Day of Yoga is coming at a crucial time. “The science of Yoga has great significance now, like never before. Today we are very advanced in terms of science and technology, but we lack peace and harmony in the world. It is very important that we develop an inner awareness, so that we may experience every other being as a part of ourselves,” he pointed out.
The function was then inaugurated by lighting the ceremonial lamp by all the dignitaries jointly.
Dr. Prathapan Nair then distributed the cash awards to the winners of the essay competition conducted in connection with the International Day of Yoga celebration. The topic of the essay was “Yoga in day-to-day life”. Students from the 2013 MBBS batch, Ms. Athulya Balagopal, Ms. Meenu C. Nair and Ms. Chalsy George shared the first, second and third prizes respectively.
Dr. Anand Kumar, Professor and Head, Department of Neurology then explained the inter-connections between heart, head and lungs and the importance of ‘Pranayama’ (controlling of the breath) in maintaining the subtle harmony between them. He stated that this profound scientific insight of the ancient proponents of Yoga is really amazing and making the science of Yoga available in the purest form is the responsibility of this generation.
The entire students present in the hall were then encouraged to do some simple Yogasanas in the standing positions like Thadasan, Vrikshasan, Thrikonasan, etc. following the yoga instructor, Sri Ramesh Babu, who demonstrated them on the stage.
Dr. Rajeev R. Warrier, the co-founder of Sree Rudravilasam Vaidyasala, Ayurvedic Hospital & Research Center at Thrippunithura, Kerala, was the chief speaker on the occasion. He explained in a simple manner the eight fold path of Ashtanga Yoga as expounded by Maharshi Pathanjali. “The word “yoga” literally means union. Yoga does not mean twisting of the body, holding of the breath or doing some other circus. The word “yoga” is a comprehensive term which includes the concepts of excellence in action, equanimity in attitude and cessation of thoughts. Yoga is universal and is the most profound exploration of the very mechanics of life which is far beyond any caste, creed and religious distinctions.”
The program concluded with an inspiring demonstration of Sooryanamaskar and other classical yoga postures by a group of young boys and girls from the Amrita Vidyalayam, Ernakulam followed by National Anthem.