News East West
TORONTO: Toronto created a record of holding the biggest-ever yoga event in North America on Sunday.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev led thousands of people through yoga asanas at the International Centre here to celebrate the day-long mega event organized by the non-profit International Day of Yoga Canada (IYDC) in collaboration with the Indian consulate here.
Top leaders, including Canada’s science minister Kirsty Duncan, Ontario’s Indo-Canadian Dipkia Damerla, Ontario Opposition leader Patrick Brown, mayors, and MPs joined the event as Baba Ramdev put them through over two hours of yogic asanas in the morning session.Brahma Kumari Sister Shivani led the evening meditation session.
It was all fun and laughter as Baba Ramdev guided people, including the VIPs, through tough yogic exercises, highlighting the benefits of each asana.
Administering the oath to the crowd to do yoga everyday, he said, “People look for solutions outside, but everything is inside us. My mission is to take yoga to every corner of the world. Even if one percent people of the world practise yoga, it will usher in prosperity and world peace and there won’t be any wars. Yoga has nothing to do with any religion.’’
Referring to his Patanjali Ayurved business empire as charity and non-profit “for the benefit of mankind’’, Baba Ramdev said his mission is to build the world’s biggest university which teaches modern education and India’s ancient wisdom and knowledge.
Amid applause, the yoga guru said he had never attended any bigger yoga event than this one anywhere outside India
Terming the yoga celebrations an “exciting and important event,’’ Canada’s minister for science Kirsty Duncan greeted the huge gathering in Punjabi, saying, “Namaskar, Sat Sri Akal, Aslam Alekum. Mera naam Kirty Duncan hai. Mainu bahut khushi hai….’’
Indian consul general Dinesh Bhatia, who put together the event in collaboration with community organizations, said yoga is India’s gift to the world and lauded Prime Minister Modi for getting it recognized as International Day of Yoga.
He introduced Baba Ramdev to Canadians as “the brand ambassador of yoga and Ayurveda’’ and a crusader against corruption and black money.
Welcoming people to the biggest-ever yoga celebrations in Canada, Satish Thakkar, chairman of the organizing body IYDC, highlighted the economic benefits of yoga in terms of medical costs for modern society. He said the mission of IYDC is to take yoga to the mainstream in Canada by organizing even bigger yoga events in the future.