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Samoa celebrates Yoga for Harmony, Peace & Health

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 22 JUNE 2023: Samoa yesterday celebrated the International Day of Yoga with the purpose to achieve harmony, peace and health.

Yoga’s three elements Yogasana, Pranayamma and Dhyana when practised consistently can balance the body, mind and soul and can help a person manage his/her lifestyle and avoid non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and thyroid.

Samoa suffers from the high incidences of deaths from non-communicable diseases due to peoples lifestyles, change in diet and physical inactivity.

Reverend Loia Kolia of the Matautu-uta Congregational Christian Church who conducted the prayer service said yoga does not have to be for health only.

“You can yoga for harmony, peace and health and the combination of all three elements is a gift from God,” he said.

As the first country to celebrate the International Yoga Day 2023, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa highlighted the need to utilize such events  and occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.

Yoga PM
Yoga PM

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa participating in the yoga session.

She noted that non-communicable diseases – NDCs, including heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancers account for 74% of all deaths globally and 80% of all premature NCD deaths and Samoa is no exception.

“The Samoan Government is conscious about the increasing number of young people needing urgent overseas treatment for non-communicable diseases and the Government is also concerned about the affordability of the overseas treatment for NCDs,” she said.

“I feel Yoga is an invaluable gift to the entire world family from India’s ancient tradition. This is like a combo package to address our physical, mental and emotional health needs,” she said.

One of the best parts of Yoga is that it can be practised by all ages, all fitness levels and does not need any equipment but a simple mat.

Yoga session1

Yoga session1

Fiame also acknowledged the United Nations and WHO efforts in partnering with Governments to initiate health programs and activities for them to participate in.

She said the UN resolution on International Yoga Day highlights the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health.

Fiame acknowledged the Indian community in Samoa who organized the 0600 morning yoga session to celebrate the International Yoga Day 2023.

The yoga session was conducted by Yoga specialist, Vaishali Niturkar and Fiame along with interested people participated in the session.

Alex Abraham whose parents were from India and were long time teachers in Samoa, delivered the note of thanks on behalf of the Indian community in Samoa and invited everyone back for the Saturday morning yoga sessions at the Friendly Park.

yoga 4
yoga 4

A photo of all who participtaed in yesterdays yoga session to celebrate the International Day of Yoga