Participants in the annual UN International Day of Yoga public session on the legislature lawn move into the tree pose during last week’s event. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Victoria yoga session bring peace to legislature lawns

Third annual UN International Day of Yoga unites mind, body and spirit

While inside at some points last week the scene was anything but serene, for a group of yoga enthusiasts, the front lawn of the B.C. legislature provided just the right setting for the third annual UN International Day of Yoga session.

Led by Nirmala Raniga, the host of JoyTV program Journey of Healing and the founder of the Chopra Wellness and Addiction Centre in Squamish, the open two-hour session saw participants put through a gentle series of movements and poses on a pleasant evening on the Inner Harbour.

Raniga, who uses yoga and other techniques to help people deal with addictions and other unhealthy behaviours and debilitating conditions, said yoga is about more than simply the exercise.

“Yoga is learning about the union of mind, body and spirit, and the environment,” she said.

The United Nations declared International Day of Yoga in 2014, after an address by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealing to delegates for support for the idea. He characterized yoga as “an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition” that embodies “harmony between man and nature …”

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