JUNE 21 has been declared the first International World Yoga Day by the UN and to commemorate it, the Consulate General of India in Durban, together with the Sivananda World Peace Foundation, Vishwa Shakti, and POST will hold a mass yoga demonstration.

This will take place at the Durban Amphitheatre, opposite the Southern Sun Elangeni in Durban.The Consul General of India, Rajagopalan Raghunathan, said he was excited when India’s ambassador to the UN, Asoke Mukerji, made the announcement.“They have recognised that yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.

South Africa and 174 other nations will join in with celebrations. We aim to roll out programmes in interested schools in Phoenix, Chatsworth, Verulam, Tongaat and surrounding areas.”The first stop was on Tuesday morning at Resmount Primary School in Reservoir Hills, where an energetic group of Grade 7 pupils were given lessons.The provisional co-ordinator of the Department of Basic Education, Kamal Maharaj, said that apart from enforcing discipline, yoga developed the memory of children: “It will help pupils stay fit.

We also found that practising yoga improves one’s memory; this is perfect for our children.“In weeks to come we will send out circulars to principals to find out if they are interested in having the programme at their schools. It will not be compulsory for pupils to attend.”He added that physical education teachers would be given the basic training.The principal of Resmount Primary, Rajen Datadin, who himself practices yoga, welcomed the idea.

“Yoga sharpens the mind and stimulates the brain. I also believe it improves discipline in pupils.”Supporting the idea, Ishwar Ramlutchman, of the foundation, encouraged people to attend the mass demonstration.“It is an honour to be a part of this event and we are expecting close to 2 000 people,” he said.

The demonstration will run from 8.30am until 10am.

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