International Day of Yoga 2023, Brings together Ukrainians and Romanians

Yoga Brings Together Ukrainians and Romanians for the International Day of Yoga 2023

On June 21st, in celebration of International Yoga Day and the theme of “Humanity”, Asociatia de Ajutor AMURTEL Romania, in partnership with the Indian Embassy Bucharest, Meditatie Pas cu Pas Romania and Hitesh Bhatt will bring together Ukrainians and Romanians to experience the soothing and uplifting practices of yoga, pranayama, mantra music and meditation at Centrul Seeds for Happiness (Strada Fabrica Chibruturi 16, Bucuresti) from 17.00-21.30.   It is a free event, but advance registration is required as space is limited.

Offering Refugees a Ray of Light

The benefits of yoga and meditation for alleviating stress and creating a state of inner peace and well-being are already well-documented and particularly relevant in a world with increasing stress, accelerating speed, and constant stimulation. However, for refugees, these tools are particularly helpful for building resiliency in the face of the ongoing stress of being far from home. The majority of refugees are mothers, separated from their partners, trying to navigate a new language and culture while undergoing the strain of single parenting and the constant background anxiety about the safety of loved ones back home.  Since the outbreak of the war, AMURTEL Romania has been offering mental health support to refugees, starting at the border and then in Brasov and in Bucharest. Since January, within the “Rays of Light After the Storm” project, funded by CARE-SERA-FONPC, AMURTEL has formed a team of Ukrainians that have been organizing training in resiliency for refugees, yoga classes for parents and children, group counseling activities, and individual therapy. As of the end of May, this current phase of the project had already reached 1093 Ukrainian refugees.

Multicultural Diversity of Teachers Reflecting Yoga’s Universal Appeal

The event will be led by teachers representing a wide multicultural diversity, reflecting the universality of yoga practices: Didi Ananda Devapriya, the founder of the YouTube channel Meditatie Pas cu Pas, and twenty-two years of experience teaching yoga and meditation is American, now with Romanian citizenship, Hitesh Bhatt was born in India and grew up immersed in the traditions of yoga and meditation, and founded the Bodhi Yoga Studio in 2019, Kate Prokopenko is a Ukrainian yoga teacher, practicing since 2017, Sabina Soltobaeva was born in Krgystan, emigrated to France and has been practicing and teaching yoga and meditation since 2019, and Mark Oostendorp is South African and married to a Romanian, teaching meditation and drumming since 2009.

Practical Yoga Sessions and  Unique Yoga Perspectives Q&A Discussion

The program will begin with an address by His Excellency the Ambassador of India, Rahul Shrivastava, and then will focus primarily on practical sessions of the various practices of yoga: asanas, pranayama, mantra practice, and meditation. It will conclude with a panel discussion “Yoga Perspectives” in which each of the  teachers will share how their own practice of yoga and meditation has widened their love for humanity, deepened a sense of peace, and other personal benefits they experience. They will then respond to questions from the audience on yoga philosophy and practice.

Experience Yoga Beyond the Gym

The International Day of Yoga is an opportunity to understand yoga in its wider context, not only as exercises that increase flexibility and health, but also that can create an inner state of peace and joy, and help us experience our connection to all other people and beings on the planet. It is also a chance to create new connections and friendships in a relaxed environment that help Ukrainian refugees to feel welcome and well-integrated into our society.

Part of the “Rays of Light After the Storm” project financed by CARE-SERA-FONPC: