A large number of people gathered at different venues on Saturday to mark the fifth International Day of Yoga in Qatar. 
Organised by the Indian embassy and led by Indian ambassador P Kumaran, people assembled at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) in large numbers by 5am Saturday to mark the occasion and practise yoga. Another session was held in the evening at Qatar Sports Club, which too saw a big turnout of participants.

A yoga demonstration at Qatar Sports Club. PICTURE: Jayan Orma

Indian ambassador P Kumaran joins others in practising yoga at Qatar Sports Club. PICTURE:Jayan Orma

Leaders and members of the Indian community, as well as people from other nationalities, took part in the initiative. 
A P Manikantan, president of the Indian Cultural Centre; P N Baburajan, president of the Indian Community Benevolent Forum; Azeem Abbas, president of the Indian Business & Professionals Council; and Nilangshu Dey, president of the Indian Sports Centre, and several other Indian community leaders were among those present.
Speaking to Gulf Times, ambassador Kumaran said it was very heartening see a large number of people turn out early in the morning to celebrate the occasion.
“This year, we wanted to make it a special one by holding the event at one of the iconic monuments of the country and spread the message to the wider community. We chose the National Museum of Qatar, the newest and marvellous architectural beauty, to hold the first yoga session. It was a great experience as nearly 2,000 people turned out to take part in the session early in the morning,” said Kumaran.
“We had tweeted a picture of the session with the participants practising yoga in front of the museum and HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, also tweeted about it expressing happiness that the Indian community had chosen the museum for the occasion,” the Indian envoy said.
Kumaran highlighted that yoga has both physical and mental benefits for those who practise it regularly. “It helps people be physically fit and refreshing. Moreover, it offers mental benefits as yoga is a great stress-buster. This can help people get rid of their mental tensions and lead a very healthy life. Yoga can be practised by everyone irrespective of their age,” he explained.
“It has been a historic event today with a large number of people participating in the yoga sessions. We would like to send out a clear message about the benefits of yoga to the larger community and how it can be a great tool for mental peace and physical fitness,” noted Manikantan.
"A number of yoga sessions have been arranged at different locations in the country. We have had three sessions on Friday and two sessions today. We will also hold one more session next Friday,” added Dey.
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