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Thousands Attend Naperville’s International Yoga Day Celebration


Thousands Attend Naperville’s International Yoga Day Celebration. The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) Chicago and Mindful Meditation Yoga (MMY), celebrated International Yoga Day with great enthusiasm and community spirit. The event, held on June 23, 2024, at the Naperville Yard Indoor Sports Complex. It attracted over 1,000 participants from diverse backgrounds for yoga, health, and harmony.

The day began to Yoga Anushashan or Yoga Discipline, with a common yoga protocol session led by certified instructor and International Yoga Day Champion Anu Malhotra. Malhotra played a pivotal role in organizing and leading the event. She was supported by a team of over 30 volunteers who managed welcome, décor, seating, and communications. The overall event experience was led by Falguni Sukhadia, Strategy and Planning Director and Chief of Staff IYD, under MMY and FIA leadership.

A unique highlight of this year’s celebration was the inclusion of free, live music that resonated through the Naperville Yard, led by Vipul Srivastava. Professional musicians and yoga practitioners performed uplifting and serene compositions, creating an atmosphere filled with positive vibrations.

FIA Founder Chairman Sunil Shah emphasized that yoga is a gift from India to the world, symbolizing unity and harmony. He highlighted the remarkable growth of the event, noting that participation has increased from 50 individuals five years ago to over 1,000 participants today.

Vasavi Chakka of GSA spoke about the event’s importance in Chicago, while Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli’s warm greeting of “Namaste” was met with enthusiastic applause. Consul Officer Sanjeev Pal reiterated the Ministry of AYUSH’s support and the year’s theme of ‘Women Empowerment.’ Shweta Baid, Linda Davenport, Paul Leong, Pratibha Jairath, Vinita Gulabani, and Hitesh Gandhi, congratulated the IYD team for their efforts.

Participants experienced a transformative session that encompassed physical postures and the mental and spiritual aspects of yoga.

Following the yoga session, Bhakti yoga was performed by musicians including Navneet Malhotra, Prashant Kurdukar, Shreelekha Mohanty, and others. Their melodious singing, accompanied by guitar and keyboards, added to the event’s exhilaration. Volunteers from SEWA and HUM distributed water and free ‘Satvik’ food, ensuring everyone stayed refreshed and satisfied.

The celebration, organized in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in Chicago and supported by the Ministry of AYUSH, saw partnerships with numerous organizations including GSA Global Eye Magazine, United Punjabis of America, Sant Nirankari Mission, Arya Samaj of Chicagoland, and Expert Pain Suggestion. Media promotion and coverage were provided by A3E, Stellar Media, and Outland Media, with social media efforts led by Sanskriti Sharma.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks to all participants, volunteers, and sponsors.

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