On December 11, 2014, the UNGA declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day based on the initiation taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Since its inception, Yoga is so deeply inculcated in India’s culture, that it has influenced various art forms over the ages in a subtle way. On International Yoga Day, when the whole world saw a tremendous enthusiasm for Yoga with millions of people participating, Mati Ghar maidan at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) witnessed a different form of Yoga in the evening.
A dance performance, ‘Ashtanga’, by Mudra Group, and Indian Studio for Performing Arts, denounced the international Yoga Day celebration. ‘Ashtanga’ yoga literally means ‘eight limbed yoga’ as outlined by sage Patanjali in the yoga sutras. According to Patanjali, “The path of internal purification for revealing the universal self consist of eight spiritual pratices.”
The performance was a fusion of dance and yoga complemented by Indian classical music. It was a 45-minute Yoga dance unfolding the eight principles of yoga to lead a healthy lifestyle. The show was divided into 9 segments of creative dance and yoga. 25 trained acrobat and yoga artists performed to the tunes of soulful Indian instrumentals and folk music depicting 24 different postures of Yoga. The powerful dance by the young artistes was choreographed by Ashish Bhati, which led to an appealing conclusion of the celebrated day.
As a part of the celebration, IGNCA inaugurated ‘Yoga in Indian Visual Arts’ which showcased various aspects of Yoga through Indian paintings, sculptures, scrolls, illustrated manuscripts and books with illustrative images.
Honouring the precious Yoga day, Dr Kanaka Srinivasan, an eminent Bharatanatyam dancer, pointed out, “The mental and physical discipline that dance demands are also necessary ingredients of yoga. Yoga’s breathing and stretching exercises enhance stamina, flexibility and balance: three things that are crucial for a dancer.”
Mudra Group is a platform for the lesser known artistes from the remotest corners of our country who carry the flavour of our land and soul.