Bohra community members performing Yoga at Bohra Islamic Community Cultural Society in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Binsal Abdul Kader/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community from India organised a yoga session on Monday night in Abu Dhabi ahead of the third International Yoga Day.

More than 500 community members enthusiastically followed the yoga instructors at the event held at the Bohra Islamic Cultural Centre at Mohammad Bin Zayed City. Women members also joined the event at a separate hall.

Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, who addressed the gathering before the yoga session, said: “Yoga is India’s gift to the world.”

He explained the growing popularity of yoga across the world since the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga on December 11, 2014.

Suri appreciated the community for organising the event and invited them to the International Yoga Day to be organised by the Indian Embassy at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) on Tuesday night. Around 4,000 people are expected to attend the event in the presence of senior UAE officials.

The community leaders said the members would attend the event at Adnec also.

Shabbir Bhaisaheb Najmuddin, representative of the head of the worldwide Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community, who took the initiative for the event, told Gulf News that Yoga as a popular physical, mental and spiritual exercise could bring communities together. “We will do something to inspire the community to practice yoga regularly,” he said.

The community members told Gulf News about their positive experience of practising yoga regularly.

“I was suffering from severe neck pain but I got much-needed relief since I started doing yoga,” Hozefa Haryanwala, 34, a financial controller, said.

Saifee Rupawala, a businessman, said he was realising the health benefit of yoga day by day.

Yousuf Abdul Hussain, 60, a businessman, said yoga was an effective stress buster. “The community events like this inspires me to do it regularly,” he said.

The leaders said the community has around 1,000 members in Abu Dhabi. Most of them are business persons and others are professionals. It is a close-knit community and most of them get together for iftar almost every day during Ramadan at the cultural centre-cum-mosque complex.

The new building of the complex was opened three-years ago. “We are privileged that Sultan ul-Bohra, Dr Syedna Aaliqadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb, head of the worldwide Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community, visited the complex twice,” they said.