Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy International Yoga Day!

We woke up this morning to discover was a special day in India.  Who knew there's such a thing as International Yoga Day but apparently there is.

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.  Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.   Recognizing its universal appeal, on December 11 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131.

We discovered this all by chance when we turned on the TV and saw a large group of people, including the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, doing yoga moves.  That led to a Google search to try and figure out what was going on.

Given that India is the birthplace of yoga, it was not surprising that the country took the lead on commemorating the day.  This year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Lucknow where he performed yoga along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and 51,000 participants at Ramabhai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal. The NDA's choice for President, Ram Nath Kovind, performed yoga at Central Park in Delhi while Indian missions around the world, including in the United States, held various programs on yoga. 

It was a dreary morning for the Prime Minister to be outside performing yoga but he did.  Instructions were provided in both English and Hindi.  Participants performed alongside four people who were demonstrating the moves.  I am impressed that he is flexible enough to do many of the moves which did not always look easy to do.

Even Ayşe got into the act.  I'm not a yoga person so I was content just to watch the activity being played out on the TV.

We watched the yoga performance until Narendra Modi ended his part in the program which was just a few minutes long.  That was enough plus it looked like it was beginning to rain harder.   He's done his bit; he can let the other 51,000 participants carry on.

For breakfast, I decided to take the girls to a nearby restaurant called Saravana Bhavan, housed inside a hotel by the same name. 

The restaurant specializes in South Indian cuisine.  Hey, if there is a chance that I can get my absolute favorite Indian breakfast meal - masala dosa, I am going for it!  I found the place when I was researching places to eat near our apartment.  I fired up Google Maps, got my Delhi Map loaded up and led the way!  Finding the place was a bit challenging because I didn't realize it was inside a restaurant though the entrance is from the street.

The restaurant is a pretty bare bones kind of place.  We found a table and sat ourselves down.  The menu is pretty much the place mat so since the girls had no idea what to order, I suggested we try to classic South Indian breakfast meals - the masala dosa and the appam.  Since both are made of fermented rice batter, Ayşe would be able to eat them as she is gluten intolerant.....poor thing.  She's in the land of naan, chapati and parathas and can't eat any of those delicious breads 😞

The gals had their cups of masala chai and I was fine with just my water.  It was a simple breakfast but enough to keep us going until lunch.  It's time to get going with the rest of our day!