World Yoga Day: The Fight for Human Rights


KATY: World Yoga Day is a worldwide annual yoga marathon, which began in 2007, where people have the opportunity to participate in a community yoga event that lasts for approximately two hours in a participating yoga studio.  Donations are collected at the day of the event, which are fully donated to a chosen international humanitarian organization.  In 2014, all donations will be used to support Oxfam International’s great efforts to aid Syrian refugees. Oxfam is an organization founded in 1942 known as: “an international confederation of 17 organizations working in approximately 90 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and what it considers as injustice around the world”.


Michelle Moreno-Lee, an avid volunteer and advocate for human rights introduced and shared the World Yoga Day concept to Art Montage Yoga, a small studio in Katy Texas in 2013.  As a result, she was able to successfully coordinate the first World Yoga Day in Texas in 2013, and continue to bring it to life in 2014.  She sees the great potential to get other yoga studios/communities involved in this humanitarian effort and looks forward to the opportunity to introducing the event to other yoga studios and communities throughout Texas next year.  World Yoga Day 2014, took place outside the Art Montage Yoga studio, and brought its yoga instructors together to lead a yoga practice, melodious live music, as well as guest speakers/instructors such as Shekhar Agrawal, from Patanjali Yogpeeth USA Trust, and Dr. Hansa Medley (Guru Bhakti Dasi) from the Hare Krishna Temple and Cultural Center.

The yoga marathon began with Dr. Hansa Medley and a group of adults and youth from the Hare Krishna Center who led the community through a humbling, and inspiring chanting/meditation session. It was then followed by a yoga practice led by the yoga instructors, and concluded with Shekhar Agrawal, a pranayam instructor, who led a breathtaking yoga breathing/pranayam practice.  Western culture defines yoga with an intense focus on the physical practice, and there can be at times a lack of emphasis on the breathing, the intention of the practice or the foods consumed; however, bringing the pranayam practice and the culture of the Hare Krishna Center to the World Yoga Day marathon became one amongst many, of the highlights and a great topic of discussion after the practice.

Shekhar Agrawal demonstrated intense breathing techniques related to total well-being, as well as techniques to avoid constipation “known to be the root of all diseases”.  After the event, the Hare Krishna Center, shared scrumptious vegetarian Indian food, striking henna art, and an informative demonstration of a variety of Indian spices including critical information regarding the long-lasting benefits of ayurveda.

For further information contact Michelle Moreno-Lee at  or call 508-733-6904