The First Yoga Championship in Cairo was held on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan on June 5
The youngest Yoga practitioner at the Championship was six years old, and the oldest was 71 years old
The Yoga Schools teach different types of Yoga, especially hatha yoga and meditation
In the run-up to the International Day of Yoga, the Embassy of India and the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture played host to a first of its kind Yoga Championship in Cairo on June 5, 2016. The event took place against the backdrop of the Nile in the lush green lawns of the Embassy.
The Yoga Championship was a landmark event in an Arab country and saw the participation of more than 35 highly proficient Egyptian and foreign Yoga enthusiasts. The youngest Yoga practitioner at the Championship was six years old, and the oldest was 71 years old. The participants were divided into four categories — under 18 years, 18-30 years, 30-45 years and above 45 years. Each contestant performed ten basic and five advanced asanas to the tune of Indian music and chanting and loud cheers from the audiences.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Sanjay Bhattacharyya welcomed the growing number of Yoga practitioners in Egypt and said, “The essence of Yoga is to start from the level of one’s capacities and to strive continuously for higher levels of accomplishment.”
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The First Yoga Championship in Cairo was held on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan. Dr Prabhakar Medhikar, one of the three jury members of Yoga Championship said, “The successful conduct of the event on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan is a proof of the appreciation, acceptance and adoption of the Indian way of living a natural and healthy life of universal love, peace and harmony.”
Another jury member Ms Amira Fahmy extolled the virtues of Yoga. She said, “The First Yoga Championship is making history in Egypt. There is a tremendous potential for organising this Championship in future. The Yoga Sessions could be organised in schools as well. It will help schoolchildren become responsible humans.” Dr Bharat Singh was the third jury member.
Yashmine Hashem, one of the participants, said, “It was a beautiful day, and all of us had fun. Winning or losing was not the idea. The biggest takeaway for us was allowing others to inspire us to do our best.”
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Although the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture had started the formal teaching of Yoga way back in the Nineties, the growing popularity of Yoga could be credited to the first International Day of Yoga held in the Egyptian Capital last year. The number of Yoga Schools has grown three-fold in Cairo and today there are around 40 such centres.
The Yoga Schools teach different types of Yoga, especially hatha yoga and meditation, and maintain close contacts with Dr Bharat Singh, who has been providing Yoga lessons to more than 170 students in each term. They also form a bridge between Egypt and India and many of the Yoga students visit India for advanced lessons. Recently, two Yoga teachers were sent to New Delhi for advanced training under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC).
The Embassy of India is also conducting the ‘Yoga in Egypt’ Photography Contest. It is open for all Egyptians nationals, and resident non-Egyptians as well. A maximum of two entries per person is allowed, and the deadline for receiving the entries is June 12, 2016.
The 10 best-selected photographs will then qualify for a Facebook competition. The best three entries will be judged on the basis of the number of ‘Likes’ which will have 50% weightage, and remaining weightage will be for the score given by an independent jury.
The best three entries and the winners of the First Yoga Championship will be awarded medals, certificates and prizes on the International Day of Yoga at the Al-Azhar Park. Given the growing popularity of yoga in Egypt, preparations are underway to host the International Day of Yoga 2016 events in Alexandria and Ismailia as well.
– by Shillpi A Singh, a freelance contributor at NewsGram. She may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Friday morning, India secured a major diplomatic victory at the UN by reiterating its unequivocal position on Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan being the cradle of terror. By restating its position on how Pakistan remains a rogue state indulging in unabashed state sponsored terror through proxies, India once again notched up major brownie points with the world community at large. Pakistan’s isolation is complete and Imran Khan’s last minute attempt to speak to Donald Trump also appears to have failed.The most important part is that the UN Security Council acknowledged India’s measures to bring normalcy and development to Kashmir and wants all countries to follow suit. The piece de resistance came from Indias Permanent Representative to UN Syed Akbaruddin, who said: “We are gratified that the Security Council in its closed consultations appreciated these efforts, acknowledged them and indicated that this is the direction in which they would like the international community to move.”
India’s diplomatic encirclement of Pakistan has been a success with the primacy of its position over Jammu and Kashmir being undisputed and unchallenged. Barring China, the world has accepted India’s position including the Arab world, formerly sponsors and supporters of Pakistan. But it is clear that even they are fed up.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking to IANS earlier this week said: “I feel that there are two aspects to this. First, a certain section of people believed that my government — and I personally — would fail on the foreign policy front not just in the Gulf region, but also in the wider context. The reality is that my government’s successful track record on foreign policy across the world is there for everyone to see. In fact, after assuming office in 2014, the very first Foreign Minister my government received on an official visit was that of the Sultanate of Oman. So, what others thought of me, and what the reality turned out to be, is for them to introspect.”
Prime Minister Modi doesn’t get adequate credit for this outreach but as he explained: “I think our policy has succeeded to a large extent because of this outreach, this constant engagement. We have not allowed any miscommunication, any doubts to play spoilsport. We have been very open with all the countries, and they have also reciprocated with warmth and friendship. I firmly believe that India and the Gulf countries have only begun to explore the true potential of a partnership which will go far beyond mutual benefits and can anchor peace, progress and prosperity not only in our common and extended neighbourhood but also in the larger world.”
Even as Pakistan has upscaled ‘Ceasefire Violations’ both in terms of weapon and area in dimension over the last a few days, India has met fire with fire keeping a red alert vigil on the LoC. With a successful lockdown in progress in the Kashmir Valley and use of the Westphalian sovereignty template, India has managed to convince the world that its policy imperatives on the newly designed Union Territory are noble. The fact that not a single incident of violence has resulted is an equally bigger win.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s single minded obsession appears to show Kashmir as a potential flashpoint to seek world attention. This has been tamped down with India’s delicate handling of the situation. While the closed door meeting has turned into an acceptance of the Indian viewpoint, Pakistan is expected to continue pushing the envelope.
With the UN General Assembly scheduled to commence shortly, Pakistan’s ploy of playing the victim card may not exactly get traction with the world given the toxic state’s track record as the global centrifugal force of jihadis. A new tactic being used this time by Pakistan is to escalate ceasefire violations so that the world may take due notice that Kashmir and the border is a dangerous place. With Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh calling Pakistan’s bluff by rescinding the NFN – no first nuke – option on Friday, a new resolute and more muscular India put on its fresh aggressive game face. (IANS)