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International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 Image Credit: Getty Images

Dubai: The International Day of Yoga celebrations by the Indian missions in the UAE, which used to see the participation of thousands of people in landmark locations here, will move to the virtual world this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai have called on yoga enthusiasts in the country to participate in the celebrations by sharing videos of themselves doing yoga at home and by taking part in the events being organised via social media.

Observed every year across the world on June 21, this is the sixth edition of the International Day of Yoga (IDY).

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, it is not possible to celebrate the IDY 2020 in a traditional manner,” the Indian Embassy has said.

“In view of the restrictions on public assembly and in keeping with the tenets of social distancing, the IDY 2020 would be observed online using social media and virtual platforms,” the mission stated.

The theme for the 6th IDY is “Ghar Ghar Se Yoga – Yoga from home”.

While India’s Ministry of Ayush has launched a global online vlogging contest which is being promoted by Bollywood celebrities, the Indian Consulate in Dubai has announced separate prizes for best videos posted with the hashtag #MyLifeMyYogaDubai.

The mission has also urged yoga enthusiasts to join the IDY celebrations in the consulate’s auditorium that will be live streamed on Facebook from 7pm on the eve of the Yoga Day on June 20.

Around 25 people would attend the live yoga session by following the social distancing norms, Neeraj Agrawal, consul, Press, Information and Culture at the consulate told Gulf News.

Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul will attend the opening ceremony which will be followed by a pranayama session by the volunteers of Art of Living, a meditation session by volunteers of Rajayoga and a performance of the common yoga protocol, said Agrawal.

How to participate

All yoga enthusiasts in the UAE can contribute actively to make the 6th IDY a success despite the revised format, the Indian Embassy said.

As per the theme, yoga enthusiasts may contribute by uploading short videos of themselves performing a yogasana or posture at home on their Twitter handles.

The duration of the video should not exceed two minutes and the video should have a brief introduction about the yogasana and its benefits.

The video should preferably be shot in landscape mode in HD quality using a tripod.

Participants have to follow the Twitter handles of both the Indian missions @IndembAbuDhabi and @cgidubai before uploading the videos on Twitter.

They should use the following hashtags and tags: #IDY2020 #YogaForHarmonyAndPeace #GharGharSeYoga #YogaFromHome #UAEIndia @IndembAbuDhabi @cgidubai @moayush @ICCR_Delhi

Yoga in pandemic times

The embassy has pointed out that emphasis on the benefits of yoga for mental and physical fitness in these difficult times would be useful to highlight.

Yoga experts and yoga teachers in the UAE have also been urged to upload videos with duration of up to 10 minutes on YouTube.

“These videos could be based on focused yoga sessions on themes such as yoga for respiratory system, yoga for children, yoga for healthcare workers, yoga for police personnel, corporate yoga, yogic diet etc.,” the embassy said.

Yoga enthusiasts can follow the same steps to share the links to their videos on Twitter and use same hashtags and tags. “Selected videos will be re-tweeted from our official twitter handles and could be used suitably on social media and virtual platforms of the government of India for observation of IDY 2020,” the embassy added.