Lonely Planet Writer

Largest ever gathering of yogis in Dubai celebrate International Yoga Day

Thousands of Yoga enthusiasts will step into the zen zone to celebrate International Yoga Day this Saturday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Millions of yoga enthusiasts were bending their bodies in complex postures across India as they took part in a mass yoga program to mark the first International Yoga Day.
Yoga enthusiasts taking part in the first International Yoga Day last year in India. This year the event will be held tomorrow in Dubai. Image by (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup)

The inaugural event was a huge success last year and will be hosted by the Indian Consulate in Dubai together with XYoga Dubai and the city’s sport’s council. Sources say the expected gathering of international and resident yogis will surpass last year’s numbers on Saturday, although officially International Yoga Day is not until next Monday.
The National reports that the event will be led by Indian yoga teachers Baba Ramdev and Bharat Thakur, founder of Artistic Yoga. It begins at 7.30pm.

Dubai is hosting International Yoga Day tomorrow and continuing over the weekend until Monday. Image by Rob Young / CC BY 2.0

A large number of celebrities and young people are attracted to Ramdev’s yoga practice and work in Ayurveda, and the event is expected to draw over 15,000 enthusiasts. Support, and in some instances sponsorship, for the event comes from more than 170 countries including China, Canada, the USA and the UAE.

Yoga instructor Sasha Quince is to spearhead a calming yoga session on Monday at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel as part of the weekend’s celebrations. Devotees will be able to celebrate the big day by taking part in three different meditation styles on Monday – Flow Yoga, Booty Buster and Yin Yoga – at The Change Initiative in Dubai on from 4.30pm.