International Day of Yoga

Hundreds of yoga enthusiasts bent, twisted, meditated and learned breathing techniques. The festivity, which was conceived on Dec 11th of 2014, was officially declared by the U.N. General Assembly to take place annually on June 21st.

Attendees started coming in promptly at 10 am and by 11am the Hindu Temple of Orlando was filled with yoga enthusiasts eagerly waiting for the opening ceremony.

Photos: C.K. Lau (To view the photo album, visit

The event began with singing of opening prayers by Dr. Shailaja Nadkarni, after which Braham Aggarwal (Chairman, Hindu University of America) welcomed and addressed the participants.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized yoga as an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition embodying unity of mind, body and spirit, proclaiming June 21st as “Day of Yoga” in the City of Orlando.

The guest of honor, Rick Singh (Orange County Property Appraiser), unveiled the proclamation at the opening ceremony. The event then slowly transitioned into yoga sessions, beginning with a sun salutation series led by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) team.

The presenters included several yoga gurus from various modalities of yoga. Presenters talked about yoga therapy, yin yoga, power yoga, lymphatic yoga, yoga for cancer, laughter yoga, bhakti yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation.

At lunch time, yogis purchased lunch from the temple canteen where they served delicious Indian cuisine, such as idli sambhar, dosa, vada, rice and chai.

Yoga day event shined bright, brought more awareness on living life with mind, body and breath awareness with uplifted spirit. This was a true day of Yoga (“union“) of the entire Orlando community! The event was organized by leaders of Indian community in Orlando which included Alpa Raval who teaches yoga at Asia Trend community center and also writes yoga therapy articles for Asia Trend magazine.

Article: Alpa Raval

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Alpa Raval
Alpa Raval has been enjoying the benefits of yoga all her life. She first learned yoga at the age of 12 in India where she was trained in all aspects of yoga including theory and practice of yoga as in whole. She has a masters in Yoga and is now doing advance study in integrative yoga therapy. Alpa has been teaching yoga in central Florida over 12 years. Alpa has also been in service to her community as a children’s yoga instructor at Vidhya Vihaar (Sunday school) since 2005, after school program at Lake Montessori and seniors yoga instructor at several senior centers. She has also taught at Lake Montessori, Windermere Preparatory School, Yoga Central (Mount Dora), YMCA, Golds gym for the past 10 years and now a power yoga instructor at various locations at LA fitness. Alpa taught a course on yoga for a year at Barnett Honors College UCF, and teaches Therapeutic Yoga at UCF Pegasus Health Care Center, mindfulness meditation and chair yoga for stress relief at UCF Medical city at Lake Nona. She is passionate about yoga and the benefits each person can gain from the practice no matter the age. While she favor sharing and practicing Ananda(hatha)style, she also teaches and holds workshops on Yoga as Therapy, Mindfulness practice and integrative (meditation and pranayama) styles of yoga.