India brings sun salutations to Tel Aviv’s Tachana
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India brings sun salutations to Tel Aviv’s Tachana

After massive success of first effort, local embassy invites residents to stretch out for second International Yoga Day

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Israelis practice yoga at Habima Square in March 2016 (Courtesy Flash 90)
Israelis practice yoga at Habima Square in March 2016 (Courtesy Flash 90)

Israelis like their yoga. That’s a good thing for the Indian Embassy in Israel, which is hosting its second Tel Aviv celebration of International Yoga Day on Tuesday, June 21, at the Tachana, the city’s renovated train station complex.

In fact, last year’s local celebration of International Yoga Day was so successful that they were encouraged to plan it on a much larger scale this year, said Dr. Anju Kumar, India’s deputy ambassador in Israel.

The event, which begins in the late afternoon and runs into the evening, has several components, said Kumar, including several types of yoga classes, lectures and a yoga practice for kids. The first set of classes will be taught by local yoga teachers.

At 6:30 p.m., yoga teacher Prasad Rangnekar, brought in from India for the event, will lead the common yoga protocol that will take place at the same time at other International Yoga Day events held worldwide.

The evening events include dance and music performances, with stalls of Indian food and crafts set up around the Tachana.

Given Israel’s size, the local celebration of International Yoga Day is considered quite large, said the deputy ambassador. There are other sizable events in places that have large Indian populations, such as the Gulf countries, she said.

“We’re happy to see so many Israeli enthusiasts of yoga,” said Kumar. “We take inspiration from them. They’ve already given a lot of life to yoga.”

The first International Yoga Day was held last year, following a United Nations resolution that was introduced by India’s prime minister and voted in by 177 countries.

“It was almost a unanimous agreement,” said Kumar.

Last year’s celebration of International Yoga Day brought about 2,000 people to the Tel Aviv Port, the biggest event that site had hosted until then, Kumar said.

She said she wasn’t surprised that a yoga event was so popular.

“It’s such a good message,” she said. “Yoga suits everyone. It’s an invaluable gift of an ancient tradition that embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action.”

For more information and times, go to the International Yoga Day Facebook page.

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