5,000 strike their poses in 50 venues

SINGAPORE: Yoga instructor Patricia Lorenz holding a session at Changi Airport yesterday. The sessions were conducted in 50 venues islandwide by yoga school Vyasa Yoga, which provided 70 teachers.
SINGAPORE: Yoga instructor Patricia Lorenz holding a session at Changi Airport yesterday. The sessions were conducted in 50 venues islandwide by yoga school Vyasa Yoga, which provided 70 teachers.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

DOZENS laid down colourful mats inside Changi Airport Terminal 3 yesterday and did poses - from the "cobra" to the "downward dog".

It was almost as if a collective "Om" could be heard across 50 venues islandwide, as 5,000 people practised the ancient Indian art of yoga.

They were joined by thousands of others across 175 nations, such as the United States and China, who rolled out their mats to mark International Day of Yoga, first declared last December by the United Nations General Assembly.

In Singapore, participants with and without experience gathered at community centres and civil service clubs.

About 10 Indian organisations, such as the Global Indian International School, were involved as well.

Student Marshall Lim, 21, said the experience felt "relaxing and authentic".

"Usually, yoga studios focus on the physical aspect... Today, I got to experience calming breathing and meditation exercises," he said.

The sessions were conducted by yoga school Vyasa Yoga, which provided 70 teachers. The exercises were followed by health talks.

Vyasa Yoga owner Manoj Thakur, 49, a yoga teacher himself, said: "Taking care of our health is challenging because of the fast-paced modern lifestyles of today.

"Yoga can offer good physical and mental health, slow down your breathing, calm down the mind and relax the body."

Yoga also helps prevent health issues such as insomnia, asthma and digestive disorders, he said.

MELODY ZACCHEUS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline '5,000 strike their poses in 50 venues'. Print Edition | Subscribe