From Times Square to Sydney Harbour - Yoga unifies all

New Delhi:  From several thousand enthusiasts participating in mass yoga sessions all through the day at New York's iconic Times Square, to mass yoga in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, at the European Union parliament, and even atop Sydney Harbour Bridge -- the ancient Indian tradition got a fillip across the world on Tuesday in the second edition of International Yoga Day. Thousands of yoga enthusiasts celebrated the International Yoga Day at Times Square a day early to coincide with the Summer Solstice. The theme of the annual solstice celebrations in Times Square was "Mind over Madness Yoga". The celebrations began at 5 a.m. with eight sessions scheduled through the day ending at 8.30 p.m. Over 30 yoga studios participated in the celebrations held in a three-block area at Times Square.  There was enthusiastic turnout of yoga among India's neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar. Enthusiasts participated in yoga asanas in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup posted pictures of Yoga Day celebrations at Indian missions from across the world -- in UAE, Tunisia, Sudan, Iraq, Astana, Bishkek, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif and even at the iconic Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. He tweeted that there was tremendous response to IYD across Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam and events were also held in Africa, mainly in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe. A dozen yoga practitioners stood in posture of namastey atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the rising sun forming a beautiful backdrop. The Hindu Council of Australia collaborated in hosting the world's first yoga event atop Sydney Harbour Bridge. At the European Parliament, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was the main guest as he led the International Yoga Day celebrations. An Indian Youth Delegation to China celebrated the occasion in the southern Chinese city of Guilin. International Day of Yoga was also celebrated at Wuxi Hollywood Studios in Jiangsu, as well as in Simatai and Xi'an and at the Great Wall. South Koreans performed yoga on board an Indian Navy vessel in Busan, while reports of yoga celebrations also came in from Morocco, Guyana and Honduras.