Over 400 people performed asanas to mark the International Day of Yoga at the picturesque Hatachana compound here on Thursday, with India”s envoy to Israel Pavan Kapoor asking the government to consider making it a part of the annual calendar of events.
People from all walks of life, including popular Israeli actress and TV host Michal Yannai, participated in the event.
“It always amazes me to see how popular yoga is in Israel. The number of teachers that you have here. The different kind of yoga that is practiced and taught. Everything from pre-school yoga to workplace yoga,” Kapoor told the participants Thursday evening.
The event was hosted by the Indian Embassy along with the municipality here and the Ministry of Sports and Culture.
International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on June 21 since its inception in 2015.
In view of the response every year on Yoga day, the envoy also called upon the municipality and the ministry to get the event institutionalised by making it a part of their annual calendar of events.
“You all know about the benefits (of Yoga) to the body, the mind and the soul. I think the way this event is picking up, may be the Ministry of Culture and the municipality here may consider to make this event a part of their annual calendar of events so that it gets institutionalised in some way,” Kapoor said.
The Indian envoy also informed the Yoga enthusiasts about the opening of an Indian Cultural Centre, where yoga can also be practised.
The announcement of the centre was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Israel in July 2017.
Every form of yoga has patrons in Israel and there are 95 centres for ashtanga yoga.
“I travelled from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to participate in the event. I have done it ever since it started some five years ago. It is always so much fun and an altogether it is a different experience performing yoga for some two hours with such a large gathering,” Chen Eytan, a practitioner of yoga, told PTI.
Eytan also volunteers at schools to teach children the ancient Indian discipline.
Ravital, a mother of three, said she found out about yoga for pregnant women during her first pregnancy.
She said it was “very difficult in the first half” but “got better as she started doing prescribed asanas”. “I have never stopped (practicing yoga),” Ravital said.
There are over 1,100 registered yoga teachers in Israel and yoga centres can be found in almost in every major township of the country.
People stayed on till late night at the compound for a musical event.