Members of the Ames community participate in a Yoga session lead in Ames Bandshell Park June 16.

Amidst the rainy summer weather, Ames community members have the opportunity to break out their yoga mats and practice Sun Salutations.

Hindu YUVA (Youth for Unity, Virtues and Action) Student Organization and ISU Recreation Services will lead the celebration of International Day of Yoga Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the East Basketball court in State Gym. The location has officially been moved from Parks Library lawn to State Gym due to current weather predictions. Entry is free to all and ISU Recreation Services will allow participants with or without a gym pass to enter the gym for the event.

Hindu YUVA is a multicultural student organization at Iowa State that represents the flow of culture from South Asia to university campuses.

“As a group, we strive to provide a platform to practice, preserve, promote and protect Hindu values by serving the broader international Hindu and non-Hindu communities – with the vision of contributing towards the world peace,” said L.P. Ashwanth, outreach coordinator for Hindu YUVA.

The event is an introduction of yoga for beginners and includes elements of ancient yoga practices, such as breathing and meditation called Pranayama and Dhyana. The event is centered around the 2018 theme “Yoga for Health,” and embodies the idea that yoga contributes to achieving equilibrium between mind and body.

“We believe that this approach to health and well-being can make a direct and useful contribution to humankind’s quest to achieve sustainable development and move towards lifestyles that are in harmony with nature,” Ashwanth said.

The event is a step towards building a long-term yoga community in Ames.

The Hindu YUVA chapter at Iowa State started five years ago and has been expanding ever since. Ashwanth says Hindu YUVA events at Iowa State combine the efforts of yoga, interfaith dialogues and knowledge sharing sessions.

Ashwanth says Hindu YUVA is working on its goals for the fall semester.

“Our plan for next semester is to come up with a campus-wide Interfaith Council, serving as the essential bridge between campus groups representing various worldviews,” Ashwanth said.

Yoga enthusiasts and participants are welcome to continue yoga sessions every Wednesday from 6 to 7pm at Parks Library Lawns.

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