Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
THE Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is mulling adding yoga to the school sporting calendar as a mandatory activity.
The United Nations declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga in 2015 and the day has been celebrated annually.
Yoga, which means union of the individual consciousness or soul with the universal consciousness, originated from India and focuses not only on physical health and fitness, but trains the mind through meditation and building positivity in an individual.
This fits well into the new education curriculum, which focuses on human development.
Zimbabwe is among the 200 countries that have adopted yoga and has been intensifying celebrations countrywide.
On Saturday the Ministry partnered the Embassy of India to organise a yoga day in Victoria Falls where a cross section of residents turned up.
Danielle Connolly of Prana Africa, a Yoga instructor in Victoria Falls, conducted the session.
Deputy director of sport and recreation in the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Ministry Ignatius Vambe said the Government had sent a delegation to India to learn more about yoga.
“Government has sent three officials to India to learn about yoga and will be sending four more on a trip fully sponsored by the Indian Embassy.
“We want it to be part of the school calendar and plans are underway to incorporate it into schools’ sport,” said Vambe.
While the country has held yoga events for the past four years, there is still a perception among a section of society that yoga is a spiritual activity.
Some have even expressed fears that taking part in yoga celebrations could invoke unwanted spirits.
“We understand the spiritual aspect that people are afraid of, but we take yoga as a physical and healthy activity that enhances flexibility and brings people together,” Vambe said.
Bala Ramani, an attaché at the Indian Embassy, said yoga is not spiritual, but a way of exercising.
The event started with a combined celebration event with officials from Livingstone, Zambia, at the Victoria Falls Bridge.
Last week a similar event was held in Mutare, while another was held in Harare yesterday.
Bulawayo will host the main and final event next weekend. — @ncubeleon