Saudi, Indian ministries sign historic MoU on yoga cooperation

June 22, 2021

RIYADH/JEDDAH — The Embassy of India, Riyadh, and the Consulate General of India in Jeddah celebrated the 7th International Day of Yoga with a host of events that saw yoga enthusiasts from Saudis, Indians and different nationalities participating with verve and vigor.

In Riyadh the mission’s activities were held at the Chancery premises while the Jeddah mission conducted an open-air demonstration at the corniche beach area.

The celebrations were flagged off on June 19 by the Ambassador with the inauguration of a yoga-themed art exhibition consisting of over 50 paintings mainly focused on the theme of yoga and Indian and Saudi culture by renowned Saudi and international female artists.

On June 21, the highlight of the celebrations was the signing of a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on yoga cooperation between the Leaders Development Institute, Saudi Ministry of Sports, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Ministry of AYUSH, government of India.

Yoga has come a long way in Saudi Arabia since gaining recognition as a sporting activity in 2017 and the signing of this MoU is a major step towards further promotion of yoga as it paves the way for the establishment of formal yoga standards and courses in the Kingdom, with such a step being undertaken for the first time by any country in the Gulf region.

The MoU will also facilitate collaboration in research, education and training in the field of yoga.

The MoU was signed and exchanged by Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and Abdullah Faisal Hammad, Director General, Leaders Development Institute, Ministry of Sports, Saudi Arabia, at a signing ceremony held in Riyadh.

Earlier, the International Day of Yoga 2021 inaugural address at the embassy was presented by the Ambassador, followed by remarks by noted yoga masters Dr. Ishwar Basavareddy, director, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga and Dr. H.R. Nagendra, chancellor, SVyasa University, and a message by Sri Sri Ravishankar.

This was followed by a webinar on ‘Yoga for COVID Management’ by renowned international experts. The ambassador was presented with the prestigious Yogamithra Award by SVyasa University on the occasion.

The demonstration of the common yoga protocol by Yogacharya Sowmya was also organized at the Embassy.

Due to prevailing COVID-19 related restrictions, physical participation was limited and all events were streamed live on the Embassy’s Facebook page and were viewed in large numbers.

On June 21, the Consulate General of India celebrated International Day of Yoga 2021 with attendees from several nationalities at the iconic Jeddah beach.

Following Consul General’s Shahid Alam’s introductory speech a yoga session was conducted by Irum Khan from the Yoga Institute of India.

Yoga enthusiasts, of different nationalities in the Kingdom, participated in large numbers. — SG

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