In this photo provided by Walt Disney World to celebrate International Yoga Day, Disney cast members performed a series of yoga exercises at Walt Disney World Friday, June 21, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Walt Disney World/David Roark via AP)
In this photo provided by Walt Disney World to celebrate International Yoga Day, Disney cast members performed a series of yoga exercises at Walt Disney World Friday, June 21, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Walt Disney World/David Roark via AP)

Yoga in Soweto brings together diverse blend of people

By Amanda Maliba Time of article published Jun 23, 2019

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Johannesburg - Health fanatics and novices gathered at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto campus on Saturday, in honour of the International Day of Yoga.

The asanas - or poses - may not have been perfect but the participants brought lots of enthusiasm - joining millions of people across 177 nations who observed the day as a way of increasing awareness of wellness and holistic health.

Swami Purnachaitanya, director of programs and international faculty of The Art of Living Foundation, instructed the class of almost 2000 people - the organisation’s biggest yoga day experience to date in South Africa.

Attendees were a colourful mixture ranging from children to the young-at-heart and even soccer players.

Refiloe Nyoni, a personal mastery specialist focusing on corporate wellness, and the founder of Inner Wealth, said the practice and acknowledgement of yoga has never been more important than now.

“We live in a time where everyone from every walk of life in some way or another struggles with their life and with themselves, the high suicide rate is testament to how overwhelmed people feel,” she said.

Still an unpopular activity within the black community, especially in places like Soweto, Nyoni blamed accessibility and high costs as being prohibitive.

Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mbali Hlophe, said they felt the need to partner up because the portfolio recognises yoga not just an exercise, but as an art form is that can calm the mind.

“We’ve asked the hosts if they could partner with us so we can take this programme to prisons,” she said.

Sunday Independent 

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