International Yoga Day got off to a good start in Perth with free events conducted all over the city
More than 60 people gathered at the Beacon Yoga Centre of the Sivananda Ashram on 21 June, braving freezing temperatures and wet and windy weather. Starting at 2pm, the event lasted over six hours. Tony Holmes, one of the teachers of Hatha yoga at the centre, started with an introduction to yoga and an explanation of International Yoga Day and how it came to be celebrated all over the world for the first time this year.
The yoga program started with a very relaxing session of Yoga Nidra conducted by Liz Pippet. This was followed by an hour of basic asanas taught by Tony Holmes. With everyone all active from the bending and stretching, it was time for a session of Pranayama with Chinmaya, one of the most experienced teachers at the centre. Different types of breathing techniques were taught in this session. And finally there was a session on meditation conducted by Swami Vishvesananada, who is visiting from India.
At the end of this long program, hot soup and snacks supplied by volunteers were distributed to rejuvenate the participants for some kirtan, which followed after.
The free event attracted a number of participants who were new to yoga and wanted to give it a try. Some were old timers who regularly attended classes at the ashram. It was a very rejuvenated and relaxed crowd who went back after the session, with most people definitely wanting to come back for more.
The Sivananda Ashram is one of the oldest centres for yoga in Perth. It was established in Fremantle in 1977 with the help of Swami Venkatesananda and a few dedicated volunteers. The centre follows the school of yogic thought established by Swami Sivananda.
At the Herb Graham Recreation Centre, the Consulate General of India in Perth collaborated with various yoga and community organisations to celebrate the momentous occasion.
The collective sentiment echoed throughout each gathering was an appreciation of yoga and its multiple health, fitness and stress-management benefits.
Photos: India in Australia (Consulate General of India, Perth)