By Ayako Hirayama / Japan News Staff Writer More than 450 people participated in a yoga event on Sunday in Tokyo, celebrating the upcoming third International Day of Yoga.
The yoga session at Taimei Elementary School in the Ginza district of Tokyo was one of the events put on by the Indian Embassy and its partners across Japan to commemorate the day, which falls on June 21, as designated by the United Nations in 2014.
During an opening ceremony, Indian Ambassador Sujan Chinoy read aloud a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that said, “Yoga is a medium to experience and realize how a holistic life can be lived in a balanced way.”
This year’s event at the school drew a wide variety of participants as yoga has grown in popularity in Japan.
Distinguished guests included Hiroshi Yamada, a House of Councillors member who serves as secretary general of a parliamentary league for promoting yoga, Japan Sports Agency Commissioner Daichi Suzuki and Priyanka Yoshikawa, a Japanese-Indian winner of Miss World Japan 2016.
In April, the parliamentary league was launched to promote the health and well-being of Japanese citizens, as well as yoga itself. It currently has 48 members and holds a monthly yoga class for lawmakers.
Yamada said the league intends to provide support to efforts such as creating “yoga sanctuaries” in Japan.
“I was able to devote my undivided attention to my body and mind,” said Yu Hosaka, a 32-year-old participant from Chuo Ward, Tokyo. “If companies offer their employees yoga classes, that would improve efficiency at work.” Speech