2nd International Day of Yoga in Poland & Lithuania
(A) Important Curtain Raiser Events
Two Press Conferences on 12 April & 13 June 2016 to unveil plans for the 2nd International Day of Yoga as also introduction and support by the Polish yoga ambassadors were organised by the Organising Committee. Ambassador Bisaria spoke to the media on both occasions and presented a pictorial book, with pictures and details of Yoga Day celebrated in 192 Countries across the world last year.
Yoga sessions by ICCR deputed Yoga guru organised at the 4 local Yoga schools in Warsaw. A special yoga session at the Embassy was also conducted by her.
This was followed by making of films for TV, Youtube, interviews to magazines by yoga ambassadors, photoshoots in iconic locations by yoga ambassadors, yoga flashmobs in prominent cities, research on yoga & ayurvedic practitioners in Poland.
Lithuania: On 17 June 2016, day long yoga event was held with the public yoga practice and cultural performance at the Town Hall Square. Media handouts on the programme were released more than a week before on various elements of the celebrations.
(B) Date (s) of Celebration: In Warsaw and other 25 cities of Poland, IDY event held on 19 June, except in Torun (19 & 21 June); Sulislaw (21 June) & Wroclaw (21 June).
Lithuania: Five-day long yoga festival from June 17 – June 21, 2016 with main celebrations on June 21, 2016 at the Town Hall Square in Vilnius. Events held in 12 other major cities.
(C) Total Venues under Jurisdiction where IDY was celebrated (can included multiple venues in multiple cities)
Warsaw [Pole Mokotowski Park, Warsaw Yoga City (21 June)], Krakow (Park Bernardskie), Gdansk (Academy of Physical Training), Wroclaw (Factory Energy – Yoga Centre), Toruń (Centre for Contemporary Art, Cinema Centre, Centre Yo); Białystok (Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic – European Art Centre); Sulisław (Yoga and Ayurveda Centre), Bydgoszcz, Giżycko, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Jastrzębia Góra, Jastrzębie Zdrój, Kielce, Kluczbork Komorów (k. Warszawy), Lębork, Lublin, Łódź, Piotrków Trybunalski, Poznań, Piła, Płock, Radlin, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Zgierz, Żory
Lithuania: Vilnius (Town Hall), Kaunas, Siauliai, Pasvalys, Radviliskis, Ukmerge, Jonava, Birzai, Taurage, Panevezys, Marijampole, Klaipeda, Varena.
(D) No. of participants
Poland: Warsaw (15,000) and 20 other cities (5,000)
Lithuania: Vilnius (1000) and other 12 cities (2050)
(E) Any Celebrities/ important personalities which attended the event
Poland: Edyta Herbus (Dancer and Actress), Małgorzata Pieczyńska (actress), Natalia Przybysz (singer & song writer), Agnieszka Cegielska (TV anchor), Paulina Holtz (TV actress), Agnieszka Maciag (model-journalist).
Lithuania: Several celebrities/artists and parliamentarians participated in all five days; however, their names withheld at their request (as the Church has been opposed).
(F) Brief overview of Media (including social media) coverage of IDY
Poland: Many articles published in the local daily as well as on the web portal/Radio. To name a few are Naszemiasto; OpelTV; www.tvnwarszawa.tvn24.pl, www.onet.pl Business Standard, www.healthnremedies.top, Polskie Radio, PAP News, Radio Lodz, TVN 24, Polsat News, Superstacja etc.
Lithuania: Had wide coverage in the local daily including constant and wide coverage and live transmission by the Baltic States News and information portal “Delfi.lt”, live interview coverage by the National TV channel “LRT” and by radio station “Radiocentras”
(G) Special events or functions
Yoga for Real Estate: To mark the 2016 IDY, employees of 25 Warsaw office buildings participated in an innovative program and discussed the fundamental values of yoga, as well as practiced yoga during the lunchbreak. Ms. Kirti Gahlawat, ICCR’s Yoga Teacher talked about the benefits of yoga for office workers and demonstrated some advanced yoga positions. Ambassador Ajay Bisaria, inaugurated the event.
Research on Yoga: The Embassy commissioned a specialised research report on yoga in Poland. The report was presented to the media in May 2016. Among the highlights of the report – there are 300,000 people above 15 years of age practising yoga (up from 250,000 in 2013). Poland has 800 yoga schools (200 in Warsaw alone) and 6,000 yoga teachers.
International Festival of Yoga and Ayurveda: An 11-day International Festival of Yoga and Ayurveda was held at the Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda in Sulisław from 20 June to 1 July 2016. On June 21, ICCR Goodwill Ambassador for Yoga, C. M. Bhandari, presented 12-minutes yoga asanas at 12-noon.
International Scientific Conference on Yoga and Ayurveda: The third International Scientific Conference on Yoga and Ayurveda was held on 24 - 26 June 2016 at Sulisław by the Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda. Six sessions on yoga, pranayama, Ayurveda practices, integrative medicine and yoga were held during the three-day conference. Ambassador Ajay Bisaria inaugurated the conference along with the Marshal (Governor) of Opole Voivodship, ICCR Goodwill Ambassador for Yoga, C. M. Bhandari, Director General Education and Culture Ms Martine Reicherts, Vice Chancellor of Opole University of Technology and President of Opole Town Arkadiusz Wisniewski.
(H) Response in comparison to the previous IDY:
Poland: This year’s event witnessed a significant increase, about a doubling of active participation in yoga day of about 20,000 people.
Lithuania: Encouraging response in terms of participation as well as media coverage.
Overall Impact: The event has been well received by all participants including the expatriate community in Poland and Lithuania. The number of participation of yoga has grown significantly in both Poland and Lithuania. Deputation of Yoga Teacher by ICCR helped greatly in raising awareness of classical yoga.