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International Day of Yoga marked in Amman with focus on humanity

By Rajive Cherian - Jun 22,2022 - Last updated at Jun 22,2022

Attendees perform yoga during an event organised by the Indian embassy to mark the eighth International Yoga Day at the residence of Indian ambassador in Amman on Tuesday (Photo by Rajive Cherian)

AMMAN — Spreading their yoga mats on the morning grass and performing in unison, nearly 70 people joined the Indian embassy’s celebration to mark the eighth International Yoga Day in Amman on Tuesday.

Acknowledging yoga’s “universal appeal”, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the annual International Day of Yoga in 2014, with this year’s theme as “Yoga for Humanity”.

Speaking at the event hosted at his residence in Amman, India’s Ambassador to Jordan Anwar Haleem highlighted yoga’s role in “rejuvenating the body” and maintaining comfort.

“In India, we look at yoga not only as a physical exercise but also as a part of culture, ethics and civilisational core values,” he said.

Also speaking during the event, former deputy prime minister Jawad Anani and Chairman of the Jordanian-Asia and Oceania Parliamentary Friendship Association Abdel Rahim Al Maaiah highlighted the diversity of India and the cultural ties between the countries.

Jordanian yoga teacher Eman Suhiemat led the demonstration, which consisted of basic poses and breathing exercises.

Speaking to The Jordan Times, Suhiemat said that yoga was not very popular when she started practising in 2012, but it is gaining more popularity worldwide and in Jordan.

“Many people do yoga at first for health reasons, especially for stress relief, and over time eventually it becomes part of their lifestyle,” said Suhiemat, who is also a yoga teacher trainer.

For Sara Barghout, a Jordanian English teacher, yoga means “longevity and ease of movement”.

According to Barghout, many people grew accustomed to yoga during the COVID-imposed lockdown when they tried to start new exercise habits.

“I feel like yoga is the place where I can escape for an hour or two during the day, where I can’t worry about the day. I just clear my mind and I relax. I feel better at the end of it,” the young yoga enthusiast said. 

As for Shiva, a yoga teacher from India who prefers to go by his first name, the discipline aspect of the practice is the one he values the most.

“I have done lots of sports. I was becoming stiff, and at the same time I was also getting an inflated ego. Yoga gives you sense of humility and is a way of life,” he said.

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