Mysuru: “Had the District Administration aimed for the Guinness World Records for the ‘Largest Yoga Performance’ at a Single Venue, we would have beaten our own record of last year as this year, we had more than 60,000 yoga performers at the sprawling Mysore Race Course (MRC) when compared to the last year’s number of 55,506 participants.”
These were the words of many yoga performers who had gathered at the Race Course at the foot of Chamundi Hill to perform mass yoga this morning on the occasion of Fourth International Day of Yoga.
All roads led to MRC as over 60,000 enthusiasts gathered at the venue and performed all the 16 yoga asanas as per the protocol released by the Centre.
Mysuru had entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the ‘Largest Yoga Demonstration or Lesson at a Single Venue’ and also for the ‘Largest Yoga Performance’ at a Single Venue’ during last year’s yoga day at the same venue under the leadership of former Dy Commissioner D. Randeep, who was among the participants today.
While DC Abhiram G. Sankar estimated the crowd to be around 55,000, Tourism Dy. Director H. Janardhan estimated the numbers to be more than 60,000. Over 70,000 people had registered for the event.
Yoga performers started gathering at the venue as early as 4.30 am and the whole area was floodlit and there was a glow and a halo around the 139.30 acres sprawling Race Course.
As the dawn approached, the sun rays started filtering through the many trees and spreading its light all round the venue. The cool breeze blowing added to the ethereal atmosphere of the day. Fortunately it did not rain and it started pouring at around 11.15 am, hours after the yoga performers left the venue.
People started arriving in full yoga gear carrying yoga mats, jamkhana and towels and over 500 people had gathered inside the venue as early as 4.30 am. As the clock ticked, people started arriving in large groups and by 7 am, the green and spacious campus was teeming with people.
Warming up for the grand performance began at 6.10 am and the VIPs including Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh, MLAs L. Nagendra and S.A. Ramdas, MP Pratap Simha, Yaduveer Wadiyar and former DC D. Randeep arrived at 6.45 am. City Police Commissioner Dr. A. Subramanyeswara Rao and Mysuru SP Amit Singh were conspicuous by their absence. Even Minister S.R. Mahesh, in his speech, pointed out their absence.
Dhyana began at 7.15 am after a small stage programme. After Dhyana, asanas including Paadasana, Vrukshasana, Paadahasthaasana, Ardha Chakrasana, Trikonasana, Samadandasana, Bhadrasana, Vajrasana, Ardha Ushtrasana, Shashankaasana, Uthana Mandukaasana, Vakrasana, Makarasana, Sarala Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Ardha Haalasana, Pavanamuktasana and Shavasana. The yoga session ended at around 8.20 am.
After the asanas, the participants were asked to perform certain exercises like Kapalabathi, Naadishodha Pranayama and Shithali Pranayama, to come out of the yoga mode. Along with the main stage that was occupied by the VIPs and officers, 84 yoga blocks were set up. There were volunteers at every block who guided the people. Arrangements of loudspeakers were made and instructors were seen guiding the performers on the asanas.
The gates of MRC (seven in number) were opened at 5 am for the participants to assemble and prepare for the demonstration. As the District Administration had conveyed the word through the Education Department regarding school children participating in yoga, over 300 schools from the city and students from many Taluk schools participated in the mega event. Breakfast was served to all the participants.