Local News

Yoga unites

June 19 -25, 2019

Gulf Weekly Stan Szecowka
By Stan Szecowka

Gulf Weekly Yoga unites

Yoga enthusiasts will be aiming to get in the right position to save the planet and make the world a healthier place, in a unique series of initiatives to be staged in Bahrain.

A public event called ‘Yoga for climate action’ will be hosted by Bahrain Mobility International at its Isa Town HQ on Friday at 6.30pm to mark the global UN International Day of Yoga, celebrated on June 21 every year.

“The aim of the event is to take action to combat climate change by promoting a sustainable healthy yogic lifestyle,” a spokesman for the organisers said, “while raising awareness of its many benefits.”

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India and was declared an ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’ by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, better known by its acronym UNESCO.

The event, sponsored by Al Hilal Hospital & Medical Centres and Bahrain Finance Company, will include a yoga demonstration and Q&A session with guest speaker Dr Krishna Sharma, professor and chairman of the Department of Human Consciousness and Yogic Sciences at India’s Mangalore University.

There will also be a therapeutic yoga session with Bahraini yoga therapist and adjunct professor Fatima Al Mansoori, who said: “We celebrate International Yoga Day every year, but this year we wanted to take bigger steps to enrich the understanding of the various aspects of yoga and allow Bahrain to utilise it in the most effective way towards sustainable living.

“Many local celebrities and inspirational figures will be joining us on stage to take action to combat climate change by promoting a sustainable healthy lifestyle while raising awareness of the many benefits of yoga, a secret of focus and balance to many athletes, actors and artists around the world.”

The stars include Shaikha ‘Wonder Woman’ Al Shaiba, who competes in intensive, gruelling sporting events despite losing an arm as a child, and Bahrain’s world champion bodybuilder Sami Al Haddad.

The aim is to establish Bahrain as a centre of yoga sporting excellence to one day stage international competitions and encourage Bahraini practitioners to participate in global events.

As well as a complimentary health check-up, blood tests and consultations there will be a distribution of free yoga T-shirts and a community health and well-being exhibition. The event will also be supported by the Bahrain Voluntary Media Team.

And, Yogafest21 is being organised by the Indian Embassy with the support of Youth and Sport Ministry at Khalifa Sport City on Friday between 7pm and 9pm, our sister portal GDNonline reported.

It will feature a lecture-demonstration highlighting how practising yoga can help fight stress and fine peace. Since food plays an important role in achieving holistic health, the event will be followed by a vegetarian food festival, according to a statement from the embassy.

And, the UN, with the sponsorship of the Peace Without Limits, an international organisation, is also holding a major round table discussion titled ‘Yoga for planet, people and prosperity’ at the United Nations House in Manama in Sunday.

This debate will bring a diverse group of dignitaries and professionals together, including Nouf Al Marwaai, founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation in Saudi Arabia, and Dr Krishna, to discuss challenges and solutions under the theme, as well as many governmental representatives.

“I’m looking forward to the roundtable discussion,” added Fatima. “I want to emphasise on the importance of licensing yoga as an integrative therapy which can contribute in reducing medication and treatment expenses for patients suffering chronic conditions and prevent complications of the diseases.”

She believes it’s time to categorise yoga practices under the National Health Regulatory Authority to make it easier for patients to find a qualified therapist and for medics who wish to refer their patients to certified qualified professionals.

“This will also insure safety for individuals seeking this kind of therapy, especially prenatal and palliative care patients,” she explained. “Furthermore it will create professional career opportunities.

“We have great support from the medical community in Bahrain and health professionals who are up-to-date with scientific evidence. The Ministry of Health has been very supportive and it’s time to move forward so that we work together effectively to provide integrative well-being solutions.

“I’m also looking forward to discuss yoga for education as we are in the process of implementing mindfulness at schools programme which includes yoga.”

“Also, I will mention that while yoga is more than a physical activity, it can be practiced as a sport and there are international competitive championships and federations.

“Bahrain could become a host for championships and students can participate and compete in international championships.

“Forming a Yoga Federation, with the support of the Ministry of Youth & Sports, could be an effective way of encouraging global participation of Bahraini individuals in Yoga Sports Championships.”

Supporters suggest yoga and climate action are entwined saying that embracing a healthy lifestyle does not only contribute to personal well-being, it also contributes to planetary health.

While many people may not be aware of how their daily choices contribute to global warming, yogis have been raising awareness about conscious consumption and refraining from draining the planet from resources.

They are urging people to explore ways to support climate action by adopting a conscious healthy lifestyle so that ‘we can deal with the challenges efficiently’.


Friday’s ‘Yoga for climate action’ event takes place from 6.30pm – 9.30pm.

For more details call 33601420.

More on Local News