More than 500 people attended a mass yoga class on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House on Sunday to celebrate United Nations World Yoga Day.
The class was one of many free events held across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth at beaches, parks and community centres to celebrate the practice that unites the body, mind and spirit for a peaceful and harmonious co-existence.
Despite cold and windy conditions in Sydney, participants were joined by the Indian Consul-General in Sydney, Shri B. Vanlalvawna, who delivered a message from the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, himself a strong devotee to yoga.
Mr Modi personally lobbied the United Nations to gain recognition for the event, now in its second year, which was accepted under resolution 69/131 in 2014 by all 193 member states.
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued a statement to mark the day: “I urge everyone to embrace healthier choices and lifestyles and to commit to unity with our fellow human beings, regardless of ethnicity, faith, age, gender identity or sexual orientation. Let us celebrate this day – and every day – as members of one human family sharing one common, precious home.”
Focused on peace, harmony and developing greater understanding, the class of yoga practitioners, ranging from beginner to experienced, was led by Duncan Peak, also known as YogiDunx, founder of Power Living.
Organisers Cate Peterson and Nigel Mitchell released white doves from the steps of the Opera House to symbolise world peace, followed by dancers from the Ruchi Sanghi Dance Company. – Story and photo by Noel Fisher
Sydneysiders take part in World Yoga Day at the Sydney Opera House.