The Government of Liberia and the Honorary Consulate General of India in Liberia last Friday held a joint program to commemorate this year's celebration of the International Day of Yoga.
Speaking before beginning the exercises, Liberia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, lauded the Government and People of India for maintaining the strong bond of friendship between Liberia and India.
Foreign Minister Findley on behalf of the Government and People of Liberia pledged the West African nation's unflinching working relationship with the Government and People of India, including Indians living and working throughout Liberia.
"I want to, on behalf of the President, Dr. George Manneh Weah, congratulate you all as you celebrate this International Day of Yoga on our soil. We want to give you our support in whatever you do, especially as you go about celebrating this day," Minister assured the Indian Community in Liberia.
"I understand this practice is not just physical, but it deals with the mental and most beside, it is spiritual.
Though I don't understand the spiritual aspect and so I can't speak on it, but I think it would be good if we stay mentally and physically fit at all times.
This, in itself keeps us healthy as a people," the Foreign Minister said urging Liberians to get involved with the practice.
This year's Yoga Day, unlike all other celebrations which had been conducted by Indians, was spearheaded by a Liberian, Ms. Abigail Urey-Miller, who said Yoga has been a long time passion for her; adding: "I have been practicing Yoga for more than 15 years."
Ms. Miller, who was the Yoga instructor of the day, made both Liberians and Indians, including Foreign Minister Findley and the Honorary Indian Consul General to Liberia, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, do non-stressful acrobatic stretches, bend-overs, twists and movements of the body.
"It is good for your health, it builds the mind, and helps the brain, liver and other important parts of the body function well," she told our reporter.
According to her, Yoga is good for the protection of the body, helping people to have sound mind, good thinking and normal operations of various body parts.
Yoga, she also said it helps with proper circulation of oxygen through the body ensuring effective functioning of body parts.
Also speaking, the Indian Consulate Honorary Consul General, Mr. Sachdeva thanked the Liberian Government for joining the Honorary Consulate General of Indian to jointly host this year's International Day of Yoga.
The Honorary Consul General narrated that on December 11, 2014, the 193-member UN General Assembly approved the proposal by consensus, with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries, including Liberia, and adopted a Resolution to establish 21st June of each year as International Day of Yoga.
The declaration of International Day of Yoga was prompted by an address to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014 by the Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi, in which he urged the World Community to adopt an International Day of Yoga.
The Indian Prime Minister, in his UN address, suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.
The Honorary Consul General, who also participated in the exercises, underscored the importance of commemorating the day, saying Indians in Liberia are always happy to join the rest of their countrymen to celebrate the day.
He also said the day was celebrated under the auspices of Indian Ambassador residing in the Ivory Coast and the Consulate in Liberia.
Mr. Sachdeva further said Indians who are far away from home cannot allow the day to pass simply because they are not home and therefore the celebration in Liberia was meant to make Indians honor the day which had been declared by their Prime Minister.