WINDHOEK – The Eros Primary School sports field was a hive of activity on Saturday morning when yoga enthusiasts turned up in large numbers to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness.
In an interview with New Era, yoga instructor Sandeep Wankhade of the High Commission of India in Namibia said Namibians are embracing yoga.
“I conduct yoga classes every day from Tuesdays to Saturdays and Namibians are coming in good numbers. Yoga is quite famous in Namibia. They (Namibians) are experiencing the benefits of yoga,” said Wankhade.
He explained that yoga has mental, physical, spiritual and emotional benefits. “Yoga is very important for healthy living, especially for people with high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes,” explained Wankhade. People have to practise yoga occasionally in order for them to reap its benefits, explained the yoga instructor.
He added that yoga has a complete message for humanity. “The message is for the human body, the human soul and the human mind. Those who want to live healthy lives should try to practise yoga because health is wealth and without health we are not able to fully enjoy our lives.”
New Era also spoke to participants to hear their experiences and 27-year-old Elizabeth John said she does not practise yoga regularly but rather just attended the event.
“It was amazing. I felt my whole body stretch and it’s so relaxing. For a beginner it was hard because I’m not used to stretching but it was a relaxing experience,” said John.
She also spoke on the importance of healthy living and keeping fit.
“It will keep you young and healthy and you will live long,” said John.
Also speaking to New Era was Vatoo Kaunazondunge who also does not practise yoga regularly but just attended the event on invitation.
Kaunazondunge said: “The stretches were good for the body. It’s something that one should do every day.”
She said she experienced a sense of peace and calm as a result of engaging in the practice on Saturday.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Christine //Hoebes, and Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua also attended the event.
The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the benefits of practising yoga. The theme for the 2018 celebration was ‘Yoga for Peace’.