Unesco

India and the universal posture of yoga

Culture

News - India & You

February 17, 2016

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Unesco, India and the universal posture of yoga

The Indian delegation to UNESCO is helping to develop yoga in the world and even inside this international organization, which has its own yoga course … A way to reach peace of mind but also peace between nations. And a positive way of influence, the famous “Soft Power”, for India and its ancestral values ​which could do good in a hectic modern world.

It is unusual for diplomats from around the world to gather and practice meditation and breathing exercises, in a very serious lecture on “Yoga for peace within, Transmitting peace all around”. And then to applaud cheerfully the speakers, after a liberating sigh.

The scene took place few days ago at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. During a soothing and instructive conference on the peace of mind provided by the practice of yoga.

Organized and chaired by the Indian Ambassador to UNESCO, Ruchira Kamboj, it brought together leading personalities: CM Bhandari, former Indian ambassador and a great advocate of yoga all around the world, in line with the initiative to promote yoga launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi; Sricharan Fa’eq Biria, director of Iyengar Yoga Centre in Paris; and Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO.

Ms. Kamboj emphasized the importance of promoting yoga internationally, for one’s own personal development but also to develop exchanges between people from very different backgrounds. Including during yoga classes at UNESCO.
C.M. Bhandari stressed that yoga can be as a source of balance at all levels: body, mind and spirit dialogue to achieve harmony. He recalled the Indian heritage of yoga and its spread in recent decades in India, in all categories of population, men and women, young and old. Some urban households even experience a real rediscovery of yoga.

“Today, what happens is that we first look at our own interests. This happens also in international relations, between the developed world and the developing world, with a lot of hassle. Through the principles of yoga, we first look at the needs of others. We leave a little behind our own advantages or needs. If the developing world needs this breathing space, then we must provide it. The science of yoga also gives us the ability to do so”, said to Media India Group CM Bhandari, who followed from 1974 to 2009, a diplomatic career, notably as Indian Ambassador to Poland, Lithuania, the United Arab Emirates or Cambodia. He is now dedicated to the development of yoga.

Not simple gymnastics

Sricharan Fa’eq Biria, director of Iyengar Yoga Center in Paris, has stressed his fundamental objectives: make yoga universal, without weakening its message and strength.

“Yoga is growing rapidly around the world and the danger is that its values ​​can be diluted or lost. My challenge is to promote a yoga based on universal and traditional values ​​and not just an exercise or a simple gym to attract audiences, or to earn money. It is now my last challenge: to share a real tradition, based on the true philosophy of yoga”, he explained to MIG, with a smile.

Close disciple of Sri Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, Sricharan Fa’eq Biria conducts yoga teacher trainings worldwide.
Yoga as a tool of self-understanding and understanding others on every continent. It is difficult for India to find a better tool of “soft power”, the influence through persuasion and values, as opposed to “hard power”, first based on strength and economic power.

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