Ayush Minister inaugurates Yoga Ambassadors Tour in Kerala

Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State, (I/C), Ministry of AYUSH Government of India has inaugurated the Yoga Ambassador’s Tour at Leela Convention Centre in Thiruvananthapuram today. Inaugurating the event the minister told that he is very happy that ATTOI and Kerala Tourism took the concept of a yoga tour and execute it with such grandeur. “Kerala’s clean environment and the rich tradition of Ayurveda has contributed to this. Going beyond Ayurveda, Kerala and its neighbouring Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu together have a few renowned Yoga destinations like Shivandanda yoga ashram, the meditation centre at Vivekanada Rock in Kanyakumari and the Prehistoric sites of Munnar where meditation was once practiced. Because of these destinations and other Yoga resources, there is already a notable segment of foreign tourists who visit Kerala for taking yoga courses. The Yoga Ambassadors’ Tour aims to design a wholesome Yoga package for visiting tourists, combining the well-known Yoga destinations with with related activities like Ayurvedic cooking, trekking and the houseboat experience,” he said in the inaugural address.

“Kerala has become a model for the other destinations by introducing Yoga Ambassadors Tour,” said Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Govt of Kerala, calling this a first-of-its-kind event in the world. “The objective of the tour is to familiarise with the concept of yoga in Kerala and connect different destinations with yoga in different parts of Kerala,” said Anish Kumar PK, President of ATTOI, in his welcome address.

The yoga ambassadors were welcomed to the event with ‘Panchavadyam’, the traditional native orchestra of Kerala. Later, the delegates have displayed yoga postures in front of the event venue before a flower carpet.

The Yoga Ambassadors Tour is organized by ATTOI (Association of Tourism Trade Organizations, India), in association with Ministry of Ayush and Kerala Tourism. The event, aimed to propagate Kerala as a global destination, is taking around 60-plus Yoga professionals from across the world to different destinations in Kerala to experience yoga and learn more about yoga. The 10-day educational tour will conclude on International Yoga Day, which falls on June 21. The delegates include Yoga Tour operators, Wellness Magazine professionals, and Yoga Teachers from across the world.

Ayush Ministry Joint Secretary Ranjith Kumar, Kerala Tourism Secretary Rani George, Kerala Tourism Director P Balakiran IAS, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director, R Rahul, IATO Vice President E M Najeeb, Kerala Travel Mart President Baby Mathew, ATTOI President Anish Kumar P K, and Kerala Tourism Additional Director Jafar Malik were also present at the inaugural function.

Followed by the inaugural event, the delegates are attending an International Yoga Conference chaired by Mangaluru University Head Dr Krishna Sharma. Session on Philosophical Foundations of Yoga will be chaired by Dr. Krishna Sharma, Professor, Department of Yoga, Mangalore University. Dr. B.R. Sharma from Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla will speak about Yoga in ancient scriptures whereas Dr. Yogi Sivan will explain about Hatha Yoga Parampara and Dr Alwar, Professor of Nyaya, Maharaja Sanskrit College, Mysore will talk about Yoga in Darshanas. The second session, Science Behind Yoga, will be chaired by Dr M V Bhole, Former Jt. Director (Research), Kaivalyadhama and Yogi Jayadevan, Universal Yoga Consciousness, Ollur, Kerala. Dr. Naveen K V, Director, FAITHS, Bengaluru will speak about Psycho-neuro-immunology and Yoga, and Dr. Meena Ramanathan, Deputy Director, CYTER, SBV, Pondicherry and Dr. Shivarama Varambally, Professor of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, will speak about Yoga Therapy: Its principles & practices and Yoga & Mental Health – A neuroscientific perspective, respectively. The sessions will be followed by a cultural evening.