First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged Kenyans to learn and practice Yoga therapy to benefit from its multi-faceted benefits. The First Lady said Yoga, a profound science that harmonizes the body with the mind, reduces mental stress and physical tension, thus boosting memory and developing an organized thought pattern.
“The importance of Yoga in coping with modern-day health challenges cannot be downplayed,” she said. She spoke during the first International Day of Yoga in Kenya at the UN complex in Gigiri, Nairobi. The day was set aside by the UN General Assembly in December last year to be marked every June 21st.
Yoga has spread to many parts of the world and transcends culture, religion, race and geographical location, she said. “Yoga a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated from India, not only engages the mind and body but is suitable for all ages with enormous benefits,” the First Lady added.
Yoga as an alternative medicine, she said, is gaining recognition in the medical field and also helps to reduce over-dependence on costly prescription drugs. The First Lady said Yoga has been used in the management of heart diseases, post-traumatic stress disorder with certain Yoga routines known to ease symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and chronic back pain.
“More doctors have become increasingly conscious of these benefits and are recommending specific routines as part of their prescribed
treatment,” she said. The First Lady said Yoga also helps improve flexibility, strength, balance, endurance and cultivate mindfulness while teaching stress coping mechanisms by cultivating a sense of ease. “The practice of Yoga promotes overall physical and mental health which can help in preventing sicknesses associated with today’s lifestyle,”
India’s High Commissioner to Kenya Yogeshwar Varma said the inaugural UN Yoga day is being commemorated in 192 countries of the world. The High Commissioner described Yoga as a way of life whose practice promotes body balance, increases self-awareness and rejuvenates.
Others who spoke include UNON Secretary General Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde who delivered Ban ki Moon’s message and Vice Chancellor of Nairobi University Prof. Peter Mbithi.