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Indian Ambassador to Cambodia, Dinesh K Patnaik, and Smart CEO Thomas Hundt
Indian Ambassador to Cambodia, Dinesh K Patnaik, and Smart CEO Thomas Hundt. Photo supplied

India and smart team up for yoga day

YOGA, a method exercise combining physical movement, mental control and breathing techniques, will be celebrated for the first time in two locations in Cambodia during the International Day of Yoga. The Ministry of Tourism and the Indian Embassy in Cambodia will host the event under the sponsorship of Smart.

Dinesh K Patnaik, Indian Ambassador to Cambodia, said that yoga was acknowledged by the United Nations in September 2014, and since then, June 21 is regarded as the International Day of Yoga in 177 countries, including Cambodia. The International Day of Yoga will be held in Cambodia for the first time starting at 6am in front of Angkor Wat temple and 6pm in the garden in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.

“On the first International Day of Yoga, we will invite yoga trainers from 20 to 30 clubs in Phnom Penh and about 15 clubs in Siem Reap to train and show the foundation of yoga to those who join the event in order to promote body’s health, feeling and mentality,” he said.

“The yoga exercise is an effectively ordinary method to fight against disease and body temperature change. Yoga is human’s gift to our world . . . and we want to gather more people to join. We want Cambodian people to know more about yoga by joining the event,” he said, adding that he expects around 2,000 to 3,000 people to participate.

Dinesh said that many corporations around the world are teaching their staff yoga because it’s the best way to reduce medical costs for their companies. “The statistics just came in early June, and there are about 17 million people in the US who practice yoga every day. More than 60 per cent of these companies provide yoga classes for their employees everyday. For example, big companies such as Google and Microsoft provide yoga for employees every morning,” he said.

“Yoga is a way to train the whole body and brain naturally and peacefully, boost energy levels and ease emotions with positivity, as well as harmonize people and nature together. Yoga can fight against a lot of diseases, including lung, vein and heart disease, as well as stress.”

Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart, said that Smart’s sponsorship of the event is one of the ways Smart aims to support activities that benefit Cambodia.

“Smart not only looks for benefits in its business, but we are also happy to join in on all positive activities with clients and Cambodians in general to support Cambodia’s development process,” he said.

“Yoga is a way to motivate and to achieve a balance of life. For Smart, we’re a green brand. We promote a healthy environment and a healthy life style, balanced between body and mind and human and nature. It’s a good event to promote the tourism industry in Cambodia, as well,” Hundt said.

“The Ministry of Tourism is [holding the events] in the most marvelous landmarks of the Kingdom, just in front of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and in front of the Royal Palace, the heart of Phnom Penh.”

Since Smart aims to promote a healthy life-style for the Cambodian society, Hundt feels positive about the event.

“I’m quite sure that the first International Yoga Day in Cambodia will be marked [in history] and continue to run in the future for a long time,” Hundt added.

A high percentage of Smart clients are the younger generation of people in Cambodia.

“We would love to teach them a new lifestyle—a healthy life, holistic living instead of drugs and alcohol, etc.”

Hundt explained that “there are no direct relationships between the telecom industry and yoga, but yoga relates to the values of Smart’s brand since yoga promotes a positive, green life-style.”

“The majority of our clients are youngsters, and it is the perfect match to bring the two together and get them excited for a [healthy] living.”

Some of the Smart staff is already practicing yoga by themselves, and they are very excited with the results, he said, adding that “yoga is a positive form of globalisation”.

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