Yoga workshop held as part of events to mark Asean-India ties

Students from the Global Indian International School try Yoga Namaskar, a form of Upa Yoga taught by the Isha Yoga school.
Students from the Global Indian International School try Yoga Namaskar, a form of Upa Yoga taught by the Isha Yoga school.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Yoga Namaskar is a form of Upa Yoga that activates the joints and muscles.
Yoga Namaskar is a form of Upa Yoga that activates the joints and muscles.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Yoga, Ayurvedic medicine and the art of pattachitra scroll painting were various facets of Indian culture which featured on the sidelines of a conference held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre on Saturday .

They were a colourful counterbalance to the Asean-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference, which dealt with weighty issues such as infrastructure development, education and trade.

In the morning, yoga enthusiasts - including about 30 students from the Global Indian International School - tried out Yoga Namaskar, a form of Upa Yoga that activates the joints and muscles.

Throughout the day, various other activities like film screenings and a writers' festival were held, culminating in a concert at night featuring Indian artiste Raghu Dixit and Delhi-based singer and composer Sonam Kalra.

Participants The Sunday Times spoke to said they impressed by the wide range of activities on offer.

Portfolio manager Shreya Desai, 30, left the conference in the afternoon but went back at night to listen to Ms Kalra.

"I did the yoga in the morning, watched a film or two, now I'm going for the concert... there's really something for everyone," she said.

The event is attended by top Singapore and Indian leaders as well as dozens of leading Indian businessmen and about 2,500 participants from across the world.

Ms Sarika Joshi was also looking forward to the concert and the performance by Ms Kalra, who blends Western gospel music with Indian classical sounds.

"It's very spiritual and soulful," said the finance professional in her 30s.

The conference was also attended by people from some 120 start-ups from India, who travelled to Singapore to take part in the inaugural India-Singapore/Asean Entrepreneurship Bridge, a parallel event where they got the chance to make pitches to investors.

One of the start-ups was Invento Robotics from Bangalore. Its head of sales Kaundinya Panyah said he was impressed at how well-organised the event was.

"I had the chance to meet so many visionary people," he said.

Many of the talks at the conference were packed to the rafters, said Mr K. Srinivas Patnaik, 48, who is in the organising committee of the conference.

"At first we were concerned about whether the rooms would be filled up, but today I think the buzz was fantastic, and we had to order additional chairs," he said.

About 4,000 people are expected to attend the two-day conference, which ends on Sunday.