The Indian embassy – in collaboration with the ministries of Tourism; Education, Youth and Sport; and Culture and Fine Arts – on June 21 organised the 8th International Day of Yoga which saw over three hundred participants perform the exercises of this ancient discipline on colourful mats in front of the magnificent Elephant Terrace in Siem Reap province.

With the theme “Yoga for Humanity”, the event started at 8am when Indian foreign minister Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Indian ambassador Devyani Khobragade and several Cambodian dignitaries performed Yoga to celebrate the day.

“As you are aware, yoga is made up of physical, mental and spiritual practices and originated in India,” Singh said.

“The word Yoga derives from Sanskrit and means to join or united. It represents the unity of mind and body, thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between human and nature; a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

“More importantly, yoga promotes a message of peace in the world. This is in line with India’s principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means “The World Is One Family,” he added.

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on June 21 since 2014.

“This Indian tradition now belongs to humanity. It has been embraced wholeheartedly by millions of people across the world,” added Singh.

According to the tourism ministry, the event aims to strengthen collaboration in promoting tourist flow between Cambodia and India as the two countries celebrate their 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

The International Day of Yoga will be celebrated in Phnom Penh at 7am on June 23, at the National Olympic Stadium.