Padma Shri Nouf Almarwaai, joins Yoga Day celebrations in Riyadh

The mega event at the Indian Embassy included a Yoga prayer, pledge, and the Common Yoga Protocol presentation, with a music and dance performance.
The yoga trainer instructs the participants to perform a Utkatasana, aka Chair Pose, at the Indian Embassy premises in Riyadh.
The yoga trainer instructs the participants to perform a Utkatasana, aka Chair Pose, at the Indian Embassy premises in Riyadh.Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Charge d’ Affaires N Ramprasad felicitates the Saudi Yoga Committee President, Nouf Almarwaai, at the Indian Embassy premises in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The Charge d’ Affaires N Ramprasad felicitates the Saudi Yoga Committee President, Nouf Almarwaai, at the Indian Embassy premises in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Yoga enthusiasts perform Shishuasana at the Embassy premises in Riyadh, celebrating the 8th International Yoga Day.
Yoga enthusiasts perform Shishuasana at the Embassy premises in Riyadh, celebrating the 8th International Yoga Day.Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Kids perform a dance choreographed with Yoga postures at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.
Kids perform a dance choreographed with Yoga postures at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

By Himani Bhatt

To mark the International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations, the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, organized an event on June 21 at the Embassy premises.


The one-and-a-half-hour-long function comprised the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) presentation, Yoga prayer, pledge, musical session, and a dance performance choreographed with Yoga positions. Yoga enthusiasts of diverse age groups engaged in the event with the theme “Yoga for Humanity.” The Indian Embassy released online registration forms for the same, with 5:30 a.m. as the reporting time on the Embassy lawn.

The charge d’affaires N Ramprasad attended the event and underlined Yoga’s arrival as a critical pillar of cooperation in the India-Saudi relationship. Also, the first woman Yoga master in Saudi Arabia and the recipient of India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri Nouf Almarwaai, motivated everybody to embrace Yoga in their daily routine. Thanking the Indian Embassy for the beautiful event, the head of the Saudi Yoga Committee, Ministry of Sports, said, “I am honored to be here. It is inspiring to see this large participation and diversity at the event.”

Yoga Sessions in Saudi Arabia

The Yoga Day festivities in Saudi Arabia’s Capital were a part of “The Guardian Ring” program. As 2022 marks 75 years of India’s independence, the 8th edition of IDY coincides with honoring Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Accordingly, the Indian Government has instituted a creative and unique initiative, “The Guardian Ring,” to celebrate the sun’s movement, emphasizing the “One Sun, One Earth” notion. Persons from all nations, from East to West, would greet the Sun with Yoga to observe the Indian culture of Surya Namaskar (Sun-salutation). The International channel of India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, DD India, televised this unique performance live.

As a forerunner to IDY 2022, the Indian Embassy has conducted numerous Yoga practice sessions throughout June at its office. Yoga sessions on June 19 and 17 helped prepare citizens for the upcoming major event. On June 27, as part of the Yoga Day festivities, the Ministry of Sports in Saudi Arabia launched its page on Nafis (authorized platform for the Emirati Talent Competitiveness program) portal.

The step will undoubtedly motivate funding in the Yogic discipline by establishing academies, institutes, and halls to train Yoga teachers and increase the license-issuing procedure for centers and studios.

The Saudi Yoga Committee President, Almarwaai, elucidates the aim to boost the number of Yoga studios and centers for easier access to and practice of Yoga.

Yoga: Integrating India and Saudi Arabia

In association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), the Ministry of AYUSH, the Saudi Yoga Committee held the 81st day of 100 days countdown to Yoga Day at Jiddah on April 1, 2022. The Saudi Yoga Committee is a legislative body acting like a small federation built by the Saudi Arabia Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports for Yoga promotions in the country. The Indian Embassy arranged the event on the theme, “Yoga for Health, Well-being, and World Peace.” Almarwaai led the function, and the Director of MDNIY, Dr. Ishwar Basavaraddi, virtually participated in the event.

About 2.2 million robust Indian citizens are the biggest expatriate community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Over the years, Yoga has become a well-known exercise in Saudi, mainly after it attained the “sports activity” status in Nov. 2017. On Yoga Day 2021, India’s AYUSH Ministry and Saudi Sports Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish formal Yoga courses and standards in the KSA. It was the first time any nation in the Gulf province implemented such measures.

The NRI Nation
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