As part of observing 8th International Yoga Day, around 700 sports persons participated in the yoga training programme held at the M.G.R. Stadium on Racecourse Road, here on Tuesday.

District Sports Officer N. Lenin and Madurai Division Regional Senior Manager, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, Beulah Jen Susheela inaugurated the event. They addressed the gathering on the benefits of performing yoga on a daily basis.

N. Karunakaran, yoga coach, of Sports Authority of India demonstrated basic asanas, including surya namaskar, mahamudra, pranayama breathing exercises etc.

Students training for various sports, including badminton, swimming, gymnastics, athletics, their trainers and coaches participated in the session held from 6 30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

“Practising yoga relaxes one’s mind and body. It helps to keep diseases at bay and enable one to solve problems in life in a calm manner,” said Mr Karunakaran.

Demonstration of yoga asanas by over 430 judicial officers, advocates, court staff from more than 40 courts in the district, para legal volunteers sporting t-shirts and track pants on the premises of the District Court Complex here marked the International Yoga Day.

The session kickstarted after the live-telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the occasion at 6.30 a.m. and was held until 8 a.m. Principal District Judge P. Vadamalai presided over the event.

The session was led by S. R. Sasikumar, International Yoga Teacher from Art of Living who spoke on the importance of adapting yoga in our day-to-day life.

Over 30 staff of Madurai Corporation from various departments took part in the meditation session led by R. Harikrishnan, programme coordinator of the Heartfulness Institute, a part of Sahaj Marg Spiritual Foundation of Shri Ram Chandra Mission at its premises.

Mr. Harikrishnana who engaged the participants said that meditation is the seventh stage in practising Yoga. “Most of us do not perform activities mindfully in our fast-paced way of living. Meditation is a way to connect our inner self to be more aware of our intentions than surroundings,” he added.

At the Red Fields ground in Railway Colony, Divisional Railway Manager, P. Anaanth, Additional DRM, T. Ramesh Babu, were among those who took part in the yoga session in which railway employees and Railway Protection Force personnel participated.

Madurai Railway School teachers and students took out a bicycle rally to create awareness on yoga, before performing various asanas.

Over 400 cadets coming under 7 TN Battalion National Cadet Corps (NCC), Madurai from schools and colleges across the district participated in the yoga session held at American College. Subedar. M. Ramajeyam, associate NCC officers (ANOs) and Permanent Instructor Staff jointly organised the event.

More than 250 students from Class 9 to 12 of Rajan Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Villapuram performed asanas at their school premises.

The hour-long yoga session was by Ramya Subramanian, a yoga instructor for 15 years where children performed basic asanas including sirsasana, padmasana, paruvangasana, yoga mudra, vajrasana.

“Performing yoga keeps one active and sharpens memory power. A student of mine, a special child from Madurai currently studying in Class 9, has been performing yoga since his kindergarten days with great perfection–such is the power of yoga,” said Ms. Ramya.

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