The ‘Auckland International Yoga Day’ celebrations organised by Meditation New Zealand last week was a testimony to the fact that yoga indeed has been whole-heartedly accepted and practised by the world when hundreds of Kiwi, Asian, European and primarily non-Indian origin members of the community turned up at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall with their yoga mats and families and friends.

Three halls of the memorial centre were fully occupied with yoga enthusiasts who had rolled out their mats in a manner almost covering every inch of the space on Saturday afternoon. The yoga practitioners were welcomed with soothing music by a Mantra Band and Doug Dillon, while everyone settled and prepared for an energetic yoga session.

The event was opened with a brief speech by the Hon Consul of India, Bhav Dhillon, with a mention of the fact that the session, along with many others in the country in the last week was part of a global chain of events at iconic places all around world to celebrate International Yoga Day.

“We always say Yoga belongs to the world, even though it has a home in India.

Hon. Consul of India Bhav Dhillon speaking at the event (IWK Image)

“Yoga was born in India many thousands of years ago when people then had this vision to be happy, healthy and successful and it’s not just material things that we need to be winning on our mind, body and soul and that is what yoga is all about,” Mr Dhillon said.

“I congratulate you for being a part of series of global events.

I also congratulate the organisers for making this event a stupendous success,” Mr Dhillon added.

The conveners of the event started with ‘Eight Limbs of Yoga’ by Varausadha Das followed by Pranayam breathing and Kirtan by Vibha and the Mantra band.

Three yoginis – Nikki Ralston, Carrie Burns, and Natalie Lorraine Smith – led different sessions of the event in each of the three halls.

Sessions such as Dynamic Yoga Flow, Find your Flow, Deep Peace Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Yoga Journey were conducted.

In the Yoga Journey session led by Varausadha Das, the journey of Yoga and most importantly starting and practising own personal yoga was discussed including Mantra Breathing, Japa meditation, kirtan and yoga wisdom etc.

The Yoga session was followed by quiz competition and other fun activities and a vegetarian dinner hosted for the attendees at the event.

“We have had a stupendous response from the people- this event was a massive success, and we saw a huge engagement from the attendees,” Adrian, organiser of the event told The Indian Weekender.