Dozens of locals, expats gather in Erbil to celebrate International Day of Yoga

“We are very happy that Yoga is becoming popular in the Kurdistan Region.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Dozens of people gathered in the Kurdistan Region capital on Friday to celebrate the fifth International Day of Yoga, an event the Indian Consulate in Erbil hosted.

The event outside the Indian Consulate attracted dozens of locals, expatriates, government officials, and members of various foreign diplomatic missions.

“Very good greetings on the International Day of Yoga,” Indian Consul General to Erbil Chandramouli Kern told Kurdistan 24. “We are very happy that Yoga is becoming popular in the Kurdistan Region.”

Kern noted that the event last year drew a large crowd, and this year’s occasion also attracted many people. He also said the Indian Consulate plans to organize similar events in Duhok and Sulaimani provinces in the future.

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared that June 21 would be the International Day of Yoga, noting that the activity provides a holistic approach to a person’s health and well-being.

“The purpose of celebrating this day is to promote Yoga as a way to not only increase physical activity but also as a way to balance physical health and mental health,” a statement from the Indian Consulate in Erbil read.

The instructor who led the Yoga class on Friday said the activity is not only beneficial for a person’s physical well-being, but also their mind as well.

“Yoga means union, union of your body and your mind,” instructor Natalie told Kurdistan 24.

“Whatever we do, we have to know what we are doing, our movements and our reactions. Yoga is also physical activity.”

Yoga, which originates from India, is a physical, mental, and spiritual activity usually performed in a group but can be done alone as well.

In recent years, Yoga’s popularity has expanded and is practiced around the world.

(Additional reporting by Renaz Ali)