Set on the magnificent Casino Terraces facing the deep azure of the Mediterranean Sea, an impressive amount of people gathered to take part in the fourth edition of the Yoga Solstice Monaco. The yoga gathering, organised with the support of the Société des Bains de Monte-Carlo, is a free yoga gathering that celebrates the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, which is on the 21st of June.
The atmosphere was one of joyfulness and serenity as all yoga lovers, whether curious beginners or yoga enthusiasts, came together for this unique event – a celebration of pure creativity with music, dance and yoga. It is an international event that was first instituted by the United Nations, that also unanimously declared the 21st of June as the International Yoga Day in 2015, a suggestion given by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world. As Modi stated, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being”. This celebration of yoga actually takes place all over the world, including yoga gatherings in New Delhi, New York, Paris, London, Madrid and many other places.
The terraces became a beautiful sea of white on Wednesday as many participants followed the suggested dress code, inspiring peacefulness and a clear mind. It was impressive to see the group’s variety; people of all ages, children and the elderly coming together, as everybody was invited to join with no pressure of yoga experience needed. You don’t even have to arrive prepared, as you are able to buy or rent a yoga mat at an affordable price once you’ve arrived. Families took part for a unique experience, moving in harmony with one another, as the yoga instructor choreographed the large crowd. Although it was such a large crowd, with people flocking in from all neighbouring areas, all the individuals were united as the hundreds of people respected the nature of the event and there was a palpable desire to learn and be friendly to one another. It seemed as though everyone was in sync with the mantra of the yoga association, Yoga Shala Monaco: “May all beings everywhere, with whom we are inseparably interconnected, be fulfilled, awakened and free. May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe, and may we all together complete the spiritual journey” by Lama Surya Das.
Each year, the Yoga Solstice event grows in popularity; those who previously participated spread the word and encourage others to join in, and the numbers keep growing. It fits in perfectly with today’s positive growing trend of ensuring a healthy body and mind, and is a great outlet for reducing stress and getting rid of distractions. Everyone at the event was highly enthusiastic about the yoga lesson, saying that they “felt lighter and more relaxed at the end of the class”, with first timers already anxious to take part in the next edition! The wonderful location between the glorious casino façade and the calm blue sea made for a harmonious environment.
Be sure to check out Monaco’s Yoga Solstice Festival next year to take part in a unique event in one of the most beautiful locations in the Principality, to celebrate the longest day of the year and the unity created through yoga.