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All New Zealanders Invited to Take A Deep Breath And Relax


New Zealanders are being invited to pause and take part in a celebration of yoga breathing and meditation as part of a United Nations promotion of global health, harmony and peace on June 21.

The initiative will be led by a group of 100 plus yoga and meditation practitioners and parliamentarians to complete a series of 21 sun salutation yoga postures in The Beehive.

A 2011 study published in the "International Journal of Yoga" found that regular practice of sun salutations promoted positive changes in lung function, respiratory pressure and resting cardiovascular parameters.

The celebration of International Yoga Day is supported by a United Nations resolution backed by 177 countries around the world. It was founded in 2014 by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The event is being hosted by Lower Hutt list MP Ginny Anderson and the Art of Living. Invitations have been sent to 400 parliamentarians and staff to join the group in the grand hall.

The International Yoga Day initiative has been driven by volunteers from the Art of Living Foundation, an international not-for-profit organisation. Its founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar set a vision for a non-violent stress free society around the world.

He designed programmes that teach effective and practical techniques for emotional and physical wellbeing, rekindling the ancient traditions of yoga and meditation and offering them in a form that is relevant to the 21st century.

Art of Living breathing and meditation programmes have been completed by an estimated 300 million people in 156 countries around the world.

Art of Living volunteers have supported victims of disasters around the world including the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes.

New Zealand Art of Living Volunteer, Joshi says yoga, breathing and meditation practices offer a unique opportunity to bring greater wellbeing, peace and happiness to homes, workplaces and schools throughout New Zealand.

“ So many people struggle with the stresses of life. These breathing and meditation techniques are simple, accessible and low cost ways for anybody to achieve greater wellbeing.”

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The Art of Living programmes in New Zealand have also started to benefit Māori communities.

Ngāti Whātua leader, Dame Rangimarie Glavish is a keen supporter and visited the Art of Living headquarters in Bangalore and met with the founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

“ We have run these breathing and meditation programmes on marae in Auckland and the benefits have been profound. It has enabled our people to get in touch with their wairua, and take great steps towards holistic health and wellbeing, she says.

The yoga and breathing practices will be carried out in the Grand Hall from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

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