Hundreds of community members and yoga enthusiasts came together at more than six events across New Zealand to celebrate the 6th International Day of Yoga on Sunday, June 21. 

The events were organised by the Indian High Commission in association with the Indian community organisations and yoga institutes in major cities across New Zealand. 

High Commissioner of India in Wellington, Muktesh Pardeshi

The event at Bharat Bhavan in Wellington saw scores of yoga enthusiasts and community members with their yoga mats to observe the annual event. High Commissioner of India, Mr Muktesh Pardeshi conveyed the greetings of the Indian prime minister on occasion and thanked the community members for making the event a grand success. 

IDY2020 event at Bharat Bhavan in Wellington

The Auckland event was held at the iconic Mahatma Gandhi Centre – a centre owned and managed by Auckland Indian Association and proudly holds the reputation of being one of the oldest and largest centres serving the broader Kiwi-Indian community in different ways.

IDY2020 Event at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland

The observance of the 6th International Day of Yoga held a greater significance given the world is battling through Covid-19 pandemic and staying physically and spiritually healthy is one of the vital aspects of living in these unprecedented times. 

The event hall of Mahatma Gandhi Centre was occupied from one end to another with yoga enthusiasts on their yoga mats while two yoga instructors from the Art of Living New Zealand were convening the event. 

IDY2020 event at Bharat Bhavan in Wellington

The event commenced with the chant 'Om' that reverberated inside the hall before a personal message delivered to yoga practitioners in New Zealanders via audio-video link by the founder of Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 

Speaking at the event from Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Hon Consul of India Bhav Dhillon welcomed the community members to the IDY2020 event and encouraged the participants to learn, practice yoga and make it a part of their daily lives, not just for physical benefits but also spiritual upliftment. 

IDY2020 at Christchurch Art Gallery in Christchurch

Expressing his rejoice over being able to once again host hundreds of yoga enthusiasts in close cooperation with Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust and other community organisation under the overall guidance of the Consulate of India, Auckland Indian Association president Narendra Bhana said, “Our Association is privileged to offer the Centre to Indian festivals and national events such as Republic Day, Independence Day and International Day of Yoga.”

IDY2020 event at Bharat Bhavan in Wellington

"We have always been the first to offer the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for all events that have national significance for the Indian community. 

Swami Sadyojathah from the Art of Living at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland

"Kiwis are really fortunate to be able to gather in large numbers and celebrate International Yoga Day in the current climate of this pandemic. Yoga is India's gift to the world, and all Indians should be proud of this. I am thrilled to see so many people gathered at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre to celebrate this special day," Mr Bhana said. 

Community members at IDY2020 event in Wellington

The yoga session at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre was led by trained yoga instructors from Art of Living – the husband-wife duo of Bindi Chouhan & Manoj Nathoo – who themselves are becoming popular in the city’s yoga circuit.

Yoga Instructors Bindi Chouhan and Manoj Nathoo at IDY2020 event at Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Auckland

The husband-wife yoga instructors engaged with the participants performing different forms of yoga while narrating how to do it correctly, and how it will benefit their body and spirit with regular practice. 

IDY2020 event at Bharat Bhavan in Wellington

Towards the end of the event, Swami Sadyojathah from the Art of Living addressed the participants at the event and performed a guided meditation with the participants at the event. 

Left: Bhartiya Samaj chairperson Jeet Suchdev, and President of Auckland Indian Association, Narendra Bhana (right) at IDY event at Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Auckland

"I was pleased to see such a hoiusefull gathering at Mahatma Gandhi Centre on 6th IDY event, and to all present there and the ones who could not make it, I would recommend them, irrespective of their age to practice yoga, and inculcate the yoga pratices in their lives for their mind, body and soul," Jeet Suchdev from Bhartiya Samaj said. 

IDY2020 event at Shri Ram Temple Hall in Henderson, Auckland

Other events by Indian High Commission were held at Christchurch Art Gallery in Christchurch in association with Christchurch City Council, Yoga by Kotte, Art of Living and Indian Cultural Group, at Shri Ram Temple Hall in Henderson, Auckland organised in association with the Waitakere Indian Association and Nirvana Yoga. 

IDY 2020 organisated by Waitakere Hindi School (West and South wing) in Henderson also received a huge participation from the community on Yoga day esepcially children who are studying Hindi language at the school and their parents who made the event successful. 

Community members and children also gathered at Shridi Sai Baba Temple in Onehunga, Auckland to host IDY 2020 organisd by Datta Yoga Centre New Zealand. 

Community members celebrating IDY2020 at Sai Baba Temple in Auckland

The Hamilton event will be celebrated on Sunday, June 28 at Western Community Centre in Nawton from 2 p.m. which is organised in association with Global Organisation for People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Art of Living and Indian Council for Cultural Relations.