Message/Speeches Ambassador Shamma Jain addresses yoga practitioners on the Second International Yoga Day in Panama.

Ambassador Shamma Jain addresses yoga practitioners on the Second International Yoga Day in Panama.

Her Excellency Ambassador, Ms. Shamma Jain, Opening Remarks at the 2nd International Day of Yoga, June 25, 2016

Excellency Eng., Irvin A. Halman, Administrator of the National Authority for Government Innovation.

Excellency Dr. Jorge Motta, National Secretary for SENACYT.

Professor Anatolio Guizado, General Director for Education, representing Her Excellency Marcela Paredes de Vasquez, Minister of Education.

Dr. Rosa Maria Britton, renowned writer.

Mr. Carlos Riera, Coordinator of Brigade of Light of the Office of the First Lady,
Representatives of media,

Distinguished Invitees, Ladies and Gentlemen,

And dear children,

We are gathered here, at this iconic venue, to mark the 2nd International Day of Yoga. It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all this morning and share the science and art of Yoga – a 5000 year-old legacy of India -- which has been acknowledged worldwide for providing a holistic approach to health and well-being.  Yoga not only unites body with soul, but also human beings with nature. The International Day of Yoga was an initiative launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was adopted by the United Nations to promote Yoga for a healthy life style.  The global appeal of Yoga was evident last year, when 192 countries celebrated it with great fervor on 21st of June.   

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the unstinting support that the Offices of the First Lady, and the Mayor of Panama City, along with INAC, have lent to the Embassy for organizing this event this year, as also last year. We are honoured by the presence of Eng. Halman, Dr. Motta, Prof. Guizado, Dr. Rosa, and Mr. Riera, today.

Friends, India’s gift of Yoga to the world heritage has no patent.  It belongs to the humanity, as the ancient philosophy of India was based on the credo of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”, which signifies that the entire universe is one family.  Friends, despite so much of global effort, time and resources, spent on new scientific and technological inventions, the human beings continue to grapple with their internal struggle -- physical, mental and emotional.  No panacea has been found, which would promote what human beings across the world long for – internal peace, a feeling of joy, and a balanced mind and body. And that is where the role of the Indian yogis, philosophers, and spiritual gurus, more than 5000 years back, in developing the Yoga practice assumes significance.  Although a number of seals and fossil remains of the Indus Saraswati Valley civilization (dating back to 2700 B.C.), with yogic motifs and figures performing Yoga suggest the presence of Yoga in ancient India, it was the great saint Maharishi Patanjali, who systemized and codified the then existing yogic practices, and their meaning through Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. 

There are different traditional schools of Yoga, as can be seen even in Panama. But they all are essentially a medium to create harmony between body, mind and spirit and for many, they are means to attain spiritual energy.  Yoga paves the way for internal journey. 

It is incredible to see the level of popularity that Yoga has obtained across Latin America.  As the Embassy is celebrating Yoga not only in Panama, but also in Costa Rica and Nicaragua today, the two countries under our jurisdiction, we have organized these events in close cooperation with numerous Yoga schools, institutes and individual enthusiasts in these countries.  In fact, Yoga is also contributing to the economy of these countries as many Yoga followers have become successful entrepreneurs, promoting Yoga for different age groups, herbal and ayurvedic products, and disseminating a message of peace and harmony. 
Friends, my special thanks go to Ms. Mayella Lloyd, who with her Indian soul passionately promotes Indian music, thought, and Yoga; Mrs. Vanessa Chen,  Director of the Art of Living in Panama, whose consistent support has been most invaluable, the  vegan restaurant Sattva Wellnes, who has sponsored the T-shirts for us and the Origami studio for its artistic support.  In fact, thanks to everybody, including children, who have joined us on this joyous occasion.