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JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will participate in the eighth International Yoga Day 100-day countdown campaign along with 100 other countries, Saudi Arabian Yoga Committee Chairman Nouf Al-Marwaai said.

To commemorate the International Yoga Day 2022 (IDY) campaign, also known as Yoga Mahotsav, Al-Marwaai announced the launch of an 81-day yoga awareness program in the Kingdom.

The campaign’s virtual opening event was held on April 1 before International Yoga Day on June 21.

IDY was formally recognized for its health benefits under UN Resolution 69/131. The international event aims to promote the practice of yoga and its associated health benefits.

The theme of IDY this year is “Health, Wellness and World Peace”.

It is organized by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) under the Ministry of AYUSH of India, an institution established for research, development and education in Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

MDNIY Director Dr. Ishwar Basavaraddi said this year’s campaign will cover 100 days, 100 cities and 100 organizations in the run-up to IDY.

“The campaign program will include yoga demonstrations, workshops and seminars in India and around the world,” he said.

The virtual Kingdom event on April 1 featured yoga lessons, a class with registered trainer Faisal Al-Awaji, a vinyasa session with Samah Diab, and pranayama and meditation classes with Bhola Shanker of the Himalayan meditation tradition.

“We are honored to be a part of Yoga Mahotsav 2022. As we prepare to celebrate International Yoga Day, it is very important to highlight the message of yoga for health, wellness and world peace. With today’s challenges around the world, the promotion of yoga is what is most needed,” Al-Marwaai said in a keynote address at the virtual event.

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He added that the Kingdom is taking significant steps towards incorporating and integrating the practice of yoga into Saudi society.

Basavaraddi said that practicing yoga is “related to human interest” and that it can “free the world of tension” in a “message of love, peace, unity and good intentions.

“Embracing yoga is a clear and beautiful example that embodies improving the quality of life in the Kingdom as part of Saudi Vision 2030,” said certified yoga instructor and Saudi architect Shahad Khalid.

She told Arab News: “By supporting sporting communities and healthy lifestyles, yoga is a way for people to increase their awareness and connect with their bodies, with myriad health benefits.”

Shahad said that the Kingdom’s participation in IDY is empowering the Saudi yoga community, which can spread awareness and show the benefits of practicing yoga.

At IDY last year, the Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding with India to promote yoga education.

Signed between the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Sports and the Indian Ministry of AYUSH, the agreement aimed to activate and organize yoga in the Kingdom, paving the way for the Saudi Arabian yoga community to participate in the IDY 2022 campaign. .