International Yoga Day: Hanoi Unwinds and Unites

The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center in Hanoi is a vibrant hub of activity, offering daily yoga classes that are open to all. With sessions funded by the Indian government and led by professional instructors, the center provides a unique opportunity for the community to embrace a holistic approach to wellness. The hour-long classes cater to a diverse range of participants, from beginners exploring yoga to experienced practitioners seeking to deepen their practice. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor to the city, the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center invites you to step into a tranquil haven and embark on a journey of self-discovery through the ancient art of yoga.

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Hanoi joins over 40 cities and provinces across Vietnam in commemorating the 10th International Yoga Day (June 21) with a diverse range of engaging activities. These celebrations were held at the Quan Ngua Sports Complex, the same venue that hosted the inaugural Yoga Day back in 2015.

Organized by the Embassy of India in Hanoi, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the event was graced by the presence of Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Hang and Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Sandeep Arya.



Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Hang (second from left) and Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Sandeep Arya (third from left) at the opening ceremony on June 20. Photos: Embassy of India in Hanoi

During her speech at the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister Nguyen Minh Hang expressed her gratitude to the embassy and all involved organizations for their efforts in promoting the significance of yoga practices and their impact on our well-being.

She emphasized that International Yoga Day serves as an opportunity for individuals to reflect on their journey towards achieving happier and healthier lives. Yoga, she explained, is more than just physical exercise; it is a spiritual journey that fosters a deeper connection with the world around us. It nourishes our souls, enhances our physical health, and promotes happiness and inner tranquility.

Additionally, the deputy minister highlighted how the organization of International Yoga Day reflects the growing friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Vietnam.



Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Hang addresses the audience.

Ambassador Sandeep Arya shared his delight at the widespread popularity of yoga in Vietnam. He attributed this interest to a strong cultural belief in health and exercise, as emphasized by President Ho Chi Minh. The ambassador also highlighted the Indian Government’s theme for this year’s Yoga Day: ‘Yoga for Self and Society,’ underscoring its importance for both individuals and communities and its role in bridging the two.

In a message to Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his appreciation for Vietnam’s enthusiastic promotion of yoga. He also extended his well-wishes, saying, ‘May Yoga bring humanity together, for our health and well-being, and for a greener planet.’

As a special gesture, the Embassy of India planted a tree at the Quan Ngua Sports Complex to emphasize the importance of harmony with nature. This act symbolized the ‘Plant4Mother’ campaign, which recognizes the Earth as our mother and acknowledges the role of nature and trees in preserving our planet.



Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Sandeep Arya

Yoga, as explained by Ambassador Sandeep Arya, is a traditional Indian form of exercise derived from the Sanskrit word “union.” It signifies the unity of body and mind and the connection between humans and nature. The physical benefits of yoga include improved blood circulation, enhanced nervous system performance, and increased strength and flexibility.

Moreover, the breathing and meditation practices associated with yoga boost awareness, mindfulness, and overall well-being. They strengthen the link between one’s thoughts and actions, resulting in a more positive outlook and a deeper connection with the surrounding world.

The United Nations, recognizing the profound impact of yoga, acknowledged it as a holistic approach to health and well-being in 2014. This acknowledgment further fueled the spread of yoga’s benefits worldwide.

This year, Yoga Day events are being held in at least 40 provinces across Vietnam. The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center (SVCC) in Hanoi offers daily one-hour yoga classes that are open to all. For those aspiring to make yoga their career, there are degree programs available, some even funded by the Indian government.



A glimpse of the celebrations at Quan Ngua Sports Complex in Hanoi
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