“Twist the body toward the right side.”Finding some peace and calm in a city known for political disagreement.“Yeah, this is what diplomacy is. This is sharing ideas across cultures. This is a chance to meet people I wouldn’t meet otherwise and I love the fact that we’re here on the West Lawn, because what a perfect place, you know America’s wonderful front yard, where we can get together and you know, sweat it out a little bit.”
Four years ago the United Nations declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga,so Indian Embassies around the world celebrate in the week around the event. Here in Washington DC the Embassy hosts an annual gathering on the Lawn of the US Capitol to recognize what the Ambassador says is the widespread appeal of yoga.“Some gift from the philosophy and practice of ancient India.But it is something which is there for all humanity. It is something which is a response if you like.To the stresses of modern life it’s something which makes the person look inward see his place in the universe.It’s something which bonds person-to-person no matter what nationality what religion they belong to.”
Yoga includes physical, mental and spiritual elements and although its exact history is difficult to pin down,it is believed to have begun in India several thousand years ago. In recent decades its popularity has grown rapidly outside the country.“It looks like all the people here and I’m not talking about Indians.I’m talking with all my friends from all over the world.Why? This is really a great occasion to be here.”Taking the time to breathe a bit deeper and stretch a little further,showing that even in Washington consensus and harmony are still possible.
Jill Craig VOA News Washington.
Exhale and slowly return to the staring position.