Dutch soldiers will participate in the Netherlands' biggest International Yoga Day celebrations to be held at the prestigious Dam Square of Amsterdam on June 16. The celebrations being organised by the Embassy of India in association with Yoga enthusiasts of the Netherlands will be a whole day wellness festival with group Yoga demonstrations, meditation sessions, music, dance and vegetarian as well as vegan food.
The main attraction will be representatives of Dutch armed forces participating in the traditional Yoga session with which celebrations will open, a statement issued by the Indian Embassy here said. Dutch Ministry of Defence has introduced Yoga exercises for armed forces to enrich their training programme and reduce stress.
Yoga is taught weekly at various barracks and Yoga instructors have been recruited to strengthen the physical and mental fitness of soldiers, the statement said. A unique addition to the programme this year will be the promotion of Indian handicrafts with five national award-winning master artisans from India showcasing their work throughout the day, it said.
"The festivities will begin with a group session of traditional Indian Yoga on the main stage."
Yoga demonstrations will then be interspersed with cultural programmes of Indian dance and music for the rest of the day, the statement said.
"A prominent Dutch Yoga teacher, Johan Noorloos of The New Yoga School, Amsterdam will conduct a workshop followed by Sahaja Yoga Meditation by Sander Notenbaert and group and Yin Yoga by Anita Smith."
Djahan Manuela Mazhari Perez will perform a combination of South Indian martial art Kalaripayattu with dance and music, it said. Simultaneously workshops on therapeutic Yoga, sun salutation competition and yoga pose challenge, etc will be held in a separate Yoga Hut. The grand finale of the day will be "Soul Shanti" concert featuring BMI Goes India - a unique combination of classical sitar and modern electronic dance music.
The concert will also feature Bollywood DJ Don and will be supported by local musicians from Team Madras Chorus. The United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution on December 11, 2014, at the initiative of India, declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The Resolution calls upon governments and people all over the world to observe this day in an appropriate manner and to raise awareness of the benefits of practising Yoga. It notes the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices.
The resolution also points out that global health is a long term development objective, Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information on the benefits of yoga would be beneficial for both physical and mental health of the world population. This is the fifth time the International Yoga Day is being celebrated in the Netherlands. Last year, it was held at Museumplein, Amsterdam.