2-Day Celebrations in Houston for the 2nd International Yoga Day

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Representatives from various organizations at Discovery Green on Tuesday, June 21. From left: Shekhar Agrawal (Master of Ceremony / Patanjali Yoga Peeth), Robert Boustany (Pralay Yoga & Main Instructor), Vipin Kumar (India House), Murad Ajani (Agakhan Council), Thara Narsimhan (Sanatan Hindu Center), Rajiv Bhavsar (India Culture Center), Saheen Vora ( Indian Muslim of Greater Houston), Gita Bhatia (Art of Living), Jennifer Buergermeister (Texas Yoga ), Jugal Malani (Patanjali Yoga Peeth), Swatantra Jain (JVB Preksha Meditation), Anupam Ray ( Consulate General of India, Houston), Pankaj Desai (Ekal Vidyalay Foundation), Durga Agrawal (Agrawal Association), Anuja Deshpande (Sewa International USA), Lakshmi Narayana Kruella (Hindu Swayam Sewak Sangh), Madhukar Adi (VYASA), Partha Krishnaswamy ( Hindus of Greater Houston), Arvind (ISHA), and Suresh Patel (Gujarati Samaj of Houston).
Photos: DroneforceStudios

HOUSTON: Houston recognized by its iconic NASA and Johnson Space Center representing the finest of human endeavor was the first choice venue for the Second International Yoga Day celebrations for the incoming Consul General of India in Houston, Anupam Ray whose vison was to connect the timeless science of Yoga from India with the best of modern-science and technology.

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However, Discovery Green was chosen for the celebrations that took place on June 21. It was a well-attended multiracial and colorful celebrations at the Discovery green park at downtown Houston on the actual International Yoga Day (21 June). Renowned yogi Robert Boustany from Pralaya Yoga Creator was joined by Vishwarupa, Director, VYASA Houston and Lindsey Law, yoga teacher and disciple of Boustany, who conducted the Yoga session.

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On Sunday, June 26, several hundred Yoga enthusiasts and practitioners rolled out their colorful mats early morning, to work on their inner engineering for calmness, clarity and health as part of the second International Yoga Day celebrations at NASA.

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Shekhar Agrawal, President of Patanjali Yoga Peeth US, addressed the gathering and shared his observation that Yoga takes care of our hardware – the body and our software – the mind and makes it virus free.

Consul General of India, Houston, Anupam Ray, a practicing yogi himself welcomed all and thanked the 15 plus organizations and volunteers who “worked so hard to make the event successful without expecting anything in return.”

Brother Mark , from the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center in Houston who has been practicing yoga for 25 years led the gathering in a brief meditation practice “to harness the power of the mind” and set it in a powerful consciousness so as to get the maximum benefit from the day’s yoga practice.

The Director of SVYASA, USA Sri. Vishwarupa  along with four other yoga instructors directed the Yoga sessions which included several asanas such as tadaasana, vrikshasan, padahastasana, ardhachakrasana and suryanamaskar. He emphasized the importance of synchronizing breath with the body movements and fusing insights about the instant benefits of yoga. Vishwarupa ji concluded the 45 minute session with some pranayama practices.

The event ended with the recitation of a mantra from the Upanishad which sought blessings for happiness and peace and freedom from illness and suffering.

“It is our pleasure to bring together a large number of diverse Houstonians and institutions for celebrating the second International Day of Yoga in a befitting manner,” said Anupam Ray, Consul General of India in Houston. Being a Yoga practitioner myself, I encourage all Houstonians to perform Yoga and actively participate in these events with interactive Yoga sessions to spread the message of Yoga for peace and harmony,” he said.

Victoria Garcia was drawn to yoga after she lost her son in a tragic road accident but observed that as a staunch Christian “yoga did not clash with her faith and in fact enhanced it. Several reasons were expressed for following Yoga. Some follow Yoga for the flexibility that it offers, some found it the best way to start the day and clear the mind while for some it just made the person “less grumpy.”

Yoga is my passion and I think everyone should adopt Yoga as a lifestyle said Shaheen Vora, the joint Secretary of Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston.

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, USA’s Communications Director Sharad Amin and a key coordinator of the event recalled the weekly meetings at the CG’s office to coordinate the event and insisted that this practice will continue regardless of which Government is in power in India
Sewa International, USA provided free fruits, Ekal Vidhyalaya Foundation provided water and India House provided free shirts.

Art of Living,  Aga Khan Council, Brahma Kumaris, Ekal Vidyalaya, Gujarati Samaj of Houston ,  Hindus of Greater Houston, Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh, India Culture Center, India  House, ISHA Foundation , Patanjali Yog Peeth ,  Sanatan Hindu Center,  Sewa Intl USA , VYASA , Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston, Pralaya yoga,  Texas Yoga Conference etc. were some of the organizations who joined in these celebrations Led by the Consulate of India in Houston.

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