By Vera Samuel Anyagafu & Prince Okafor
NO fewer than 500 Indians and Nigerian nationals converged to express the existence of a cordial diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and India at the International Day of Yoga at the Indian High Commission’s premises in Lagos.
Vanguard Consular Advisory reports that the occasion of the second International Day of Yoga, was essentially a ceremony jointly organised by the India High Commission and the India Cultural Association, as part of India-Nigeria cultural exchange relationship.
The event which was hugely attended by Indian nationals of different ages and their Nigerian friends, including children from various Indian schools in the country, was observed as a spiritual discipline that is based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between the human soul and the body.
According to the High Commission’s Head of Chancery, Mr Choudhary, apart from the fact that yoga is a valuable gift of India’s ancient traditions, the coming together of Indian and Nigerian nationals have proven to an extent the similarities both countries share.
Unity of mind and body
He stated that practicing Yoga provides a holistic approach to people’s health and well-being, expressing that it embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfilment, as well as harmony between man and nature.
Also, the secretary general of the Indian Cultural Association in Lagos, Mr SanjeevTandon, told Vanguard that the importance of yoga can never be over-emphasised in contemporary times. According to Sanjeev, yoga should not be mistaken for a religious exercise, but an art and science for healthy living, therefore, expected to assist people in disease prevention, health promotion and management of health disorders and so on.
A large number of Nigerians who were fully engaged at the ceremony and have been practising yoga for a period of time also spoke to Vanguard, confirming that the practice had assisted in making them look younger and healthier. They disclosed that yoga is not a practice peculiar to Indians, but a practice to be indulged in world-wide.
While urging Nigerians to also take advantage of yoga to lead a healthy, strong and active life, one of the Indian yoga instructors,Simran Magnani, took turn to educate participants the processes and benefits of engaging in yoga exercises.
She said that persons from ages five to 50 years can indulge in practicing yoga, dependingon persons’ condition at a given time. “Once you are doing the exercise, slowly and steadily, your body gets used to it. It is supposed to be a routine thing for everyone, but for tight schedules, it is encouraged once in a week”, she said, adding that,”It is a bit of excitement for me to be here sharing this special moment with our Nigerian friends and colleagues.”
Similarly, Barrister Ndubueze, who also studied in India, spoke to Vanguard, detailing some fantastic heath improvement since he started practicing you. According to him, the practice awards longevity and enables one gain self-confidence in respect of one’s wellbeing both in body and mind.
“I studied in India, I used to go for yoga practise then, I do yoga at home in Nigeria, I have books on yoga, because it is a good exercise to realising good health. However, yoga, as many think, is not a religion”, he submitted.