My Fellow Citizens of the World Community, Greetings:
It is for me a great honour to have been invited to take part in this special online event organized by the Government of India, to commemorate the 6th Annual International Day of Yoga today, Sunday, June 21st, 2020.
I bring His Excellency President Narendra Modi and his people warmest greetings from the Government and people of the beautiful Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis as we join in solidarity with India, the birthplace of yoga, as well as with the rest of the world to celebrate International Yoga Day. How very fitting it is, then, that the word yoga means to join or unite.
The ancient spiritual, physical and mental practice of yoga – which promotes the union of the body with consciousness and the union of consciousness with the soul – therefore impresses upon us the importance of being in harmony and in sync not just with ourselves, but also with the connections that make up our lives and our world.
At no time has it been made more apparent than at this momentous juncture in history that the most important connection we have on Earth – apart from with ourselves – is to our families.
Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us closer to our families and our loved ones – even in the case when we live physically apart, thanks to technology – and this global public health crisis has also deepened our emotional attachments to our homes.
The International Yoga Day 2020 theme – Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family – is therefore well chosen and comes at a timely moment.
That’s because 2020 – with its shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders – has seen the home take on heightened significance; home is our sanctuary and safe harbour as we ride out this pandemic.
Although staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic is a mere inconvenience for some, there are far too many people around the world who are at home because they are out of work. Unemployment is a source of stress, and yoga can be an effective antidote to the accompanying feelings of agitation, hopelessness and anxiety.
So whether you want to improve your mental and physical health or simply ward off boredom, performing yoga at home and with your family – either in person or by virtual means – can relax your mind, give you increased energy and purpose, and strengthen your core muscles and relationships.
As Lead Spokesman for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on all matters relating to health, I am pleased to wholeheartedly endorse the International Day of Yoga and its focus this year on home and family, which both represent the best of the human spirit, much like Gandhi whose words I now leave with you:
I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.
May God Bless Us All!