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Ambassador Speech at the Yoga event on 18 January 2016

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Your Excellency Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Saeedi, Minister of Health, Your Highness Mohammed Salim Ali Al-Said, Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Miss Iman Mutlaq, Miss Kaushani Desai, Mr. Ajay Khimji and Mrs. Kamal Khimji, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening. I extend a very warm welcome to you and thank you for joining this Yoga and Ayurveda Session. I express my thanks and gratitude to Honourable Minister of Health for his presence this evening which is a source of inspiration for all Yoga enthusiasts in Oman. I would like to convey my special thanks to His Highness Mohammed Salim Ali Al-Said for his kind presence and his support to various activities organised by Indian Embassy in Oman. I take this opportunity to convey my best wishes to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and thank him for his benign care of the Indian community in Oman and for allowing the Indian community to practice their religions and organise various social and cultural events, including Yoga Sessions.

As our Prime Minister had stated in his address to the UN General Assembly in September 2014, Yoga is an invaluable gift of Indian civilisation to the world. The declaration by the UN General Assembly in December 2014 through a unanimous resolution the 21st June as International Day of Yoga, was a recognition by international community that Yoga, an ancient heritage of India, provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and that a wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga would be beneficial for the health of the people.

The Yoga session this evening is an endeavour to make Yoga more popular in Oman. It is dedicated to demonstrating Yoga’s relevance in balancing the demands of a busy work-life and the imperatives of keeping good health. Today most of us need to deal everyday with stressful situations both in our work and personal lives. I thank Art of Living for joining hands with the Embassy of India in Oman for organising this Session, which I hope we all would find useful. I want to thank Ms. Iman Mutlaq, a renowned Yoga scholar and a recipient of ‘Middle East Woman of the Year 2015 Award’ for accepting our request to be the Keynote Speaker. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian tradition of medicine which aims at providing holistic health to the people. I would like to thank Ms. Kaushani Desai for accepting our proposal to introduce Ayurveda cooking to you, which you may find very rewarding.

Yoga is usually regarded as a set of Asanas aimed at enhancing physical fitness and health. Yoga is derived from the word ‘Yuj’ which means to join. In its philosophical sense, Yoga means the individual soul joining the God or the Supreme Soul. There is more to yoga than Asanas, which are, only one of the various other practices essential to become a yogi.

The scholars present here this evening will be able to elaborate more on the evolution of Yoga as a philosophy and a popular practice in India. There is a vast literature on various kinds of yoga. A few popular ones are hathayoga, rajayoga, sahajyoga etc. I hope this Session on Yoga will spur you to find more about various traditions and practices of yoga. I believe Yoga, which is based on the belief that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body, can help people all over the world in living a healthier and happier life. Yoga can also help the Governments all over the world to reduce their huge health budgets if it is integrated into their health systems.

This session on Yoga is one of the series of Yoga events which we plan to organise in run up to the Second International Yoga Day which we will celebrate on 21st June 2016. We have been receiving excellent cooperation from the Government of Oman and I hope we will continue to have the blessings of the Government of Oman in future too. Art of Living in Oman has been an enthusiastic partner of Indian Embassy in organising various Yoga events in Muscat and elsewhere. I would like to request other Yoga organisations in Oman to come forward to join the Indian Embassy in organising various Yoga events to celebrate the International Day of Yoga. I thank you all again for your participation tonight and wish you all a long, healthy and happy life.

   

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