Abu Dhabi: Yoga might save the world as it offers several benefits to humanity, according to a senior UAE minister.
“Yoga fully deserves an international day [to be dedicated to it],” Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said at the third International Yoga Day event, organised by the Indian Embassy at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) on Tuesday night.
Shaikh Nahyan and Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, lit the traditional Indian lamp and inaugurated the event in the presence of Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, diplomats, community leaders and hundreds of yoga enthusiasts.
Quoting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words, Shaikh Nahyan said: “Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfilment, and harmony between and people and nations.”
Shaikh Nahyan said this description had universal appeal. He explained the relevance of restraint and fulfilment. “We are familiar with desire for fulfilment. We all seek happiness. I want [myself] to be happy … my family … and friends to be happy. Yoga will fill you with happiness and delight,” he explained.
Yoga also helps control thoughts and emotions and builds harmony with nature and other human beings, he said, as the audience burst into rounds of applause.
Shaikha Lubna also received a standing ovation when she extended the traditional Indian way of greeting: “Namaste.”
She shared her personal benefit of joining a laughter yoga session. Explaining several advantages of yoga, she said it promoted mutual respect, harmony and multiculturalism.
She said the International Yoga Day was getting popular year after year.
She offered her Eid wishes in advance to the gathering.
The Indian Ambassador thanked Shaikh Nahyan and Shaikha Lubna for their support to the event.
Hundreds of yoga enthusiasts including women turned up at Adnec and followed the yoga teachers’ instructions till midnight. Apart from Indians, many other nationalities also rolled out their yoga mats and performed the various asanas (postures).