#YogainEU: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to inaugurate the International Day of Yoga at the European Parliament

18th June 2016

Bengaluru: Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, world’s most renowned ambassador of yoga and founder of The Art of Living will inaugurate the International Day of Yoga at the European Parliament on 21 Jun​e​ 2016. He will be the Chief Guest and lead MEPs and staff through a guided meditation when for the first time the Parliament’s Yehudi Menuhin Hall will turn into a big yoga space.

The session will be available via live webcast to the public on artofliving.org/webcast.

"Yoga takes you close to your true nature. Yoga, with its techniques, helps you to harmonize with nature. Peace is our very nature, and yoga takes you to inner peace" says Gurudev.

Highlighting the benefits and universality of Yoga, the session will take place from 12.15 – 1.30 pm EST and 3.45 - 5 PM IST and is expected to see participation of several Members and officials of the European Parliament, officials of the European Council and Commission and media personnel.

“Yoga has today become synonymous with relaxation, wellbeing, or a creative mind. It is more than just an exercise. The world is embracing it as a skill to enhance the quality of life. We want to showcase this on the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the European Parliament” says MEP Geoffrey van Orden.

The first International Yoga Day was observed in 2015. The European Parliament on this occasion had organized the curtain raiser on April 21, 2015 when Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had spoken on Yoga and led a Yoga cum meditation session at the Parliament premises in Brussels.

“India and the European Union, being the two largest democracies and therefore natural partners and the European Parliament being the largest global trans-national democratic electorate, it is but appropriate that a Yoga related event at the European Parliament is being undertaken by one of the most popular and internationally acclaimed Yoga exponent from India - Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar”, says the Ambassador of India to the EU, His Excellency Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri.

The session would be followed by Yoga “Asanas” under the guidance of Yoga expert Mr. Samir Khan from the European Yoga Institute of Brussels.

The Art of Living will also celebrate the Yoga Day in 100 countries around the globe.

In India, free yoga camps have been conducted across 61 districts in partnership with CCRYN. Over 20,000 people are expected in the IYD program on June 21st to be held in Delhi, while every state is reaching out to people to encourage participation in the yoga routine. As a prelude, the organization initiated 'Sun Never Sets on Yoga' – a campaign which had the Surya Namaskar traveling around the world for 24 hours as groups of people from different geographies came together to practice this ancient yogic technique. This magnificent event spanning five continents witnessed the world literally waking up to yoga.

Participants performed sun salutations in front of prominent landmarks including India Gate, Art of Living International Center in Bangalore, Bandra-Worli Sea link, Chittorgarh fort, Zahran palace (Jordan), Patan Durbar Square (Nepal), Lion City (Singapore), Victoria Harbor (Hong Kong) and other locations in Beirut (Lebanon), Belarus, Russia, New Zealand, Bhutan, Taiwan, Kazakhstan; thus hallmarking the comprehensiveness of this ancient technique.

50 million people across 132 countries participated in The Art of Living celebrations on the 1st International Day of Yoga celebrations in 2015.

For more information on the International Day of Yoga celebrations, please click here.