PUDUCHERRY, INDIA, January 7, 2015 (The Hindu): More than 120 years after Swami Vivekananda crossed the Atlantic and introduced yoga to the Western world, the discipline is a thriving industry in that part of the world with different variations taking shape every other day. 2014 proved a significant year for yoga in India, with the United Nations declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, following a proposal made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Now, it seems the discipline is catching the attention of other countries if one goes by the turnout at the ongoing 21st International Yoga Festival 2015 being held in Puducherry and organized by the Department of Tourism. Young-Hun Cho, president of the World Sports Yoga Alliance based in South Korea, is here to pick up a few tips. His organization wants to conduct an international yoga tournament in South Korea in March this year through a tie-up with the Chennai-based Asana Andiappan College of Yoga and Research Centre.
“At first, it was the English-speaking world which took up yoga from India. Now, we are seeing the world opening up to yoga and interest from non-English speaking countries,” says Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhuvanani, wife of the late Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri who established the Ananda Ashram in Pondicherry in 1968. She says their International Centre for Yoga Education and Research which she oversees, has begun attracting students from Vietnam, South Korea, Hungary and Czech Republic.