Hawaii yoga fans will have their day

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Jun. 20—Celebrate International Yoga Day on Tuesday with a presentation at the Still & Moving Center in Kakaako.

Yoga, which originated in India, seeks to unify the "lower " and "higher " self through fitness, nonviolence and moderation. With its poses that emphasize stretching, breathing and balance, yoga is seen as a way of life that promotes health and well-being.

The United Nations General Assembly designated June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2014, and in 2019, Hawaii became the first U.S. state to recognize the occasion.

The Still & Moving Center will celebrate the day with a session from 5 to 7 p.m. Dr. Deepak Chopra, a leading expert on yoga, meditation and other alternative forms of medicine, will appear online as the keynote speaker. Raj Kumar, president emeritus of the Gandhi International Institute for Peace, which was instrumental in getting state recognition of the occasion, also will be one of several in-person presenters. Yoga instructors from the center will give demonstrations.

The session, which carries the theme "Being Truly Human, " will be in person at the center at 1024 Queen St. and viewable online. Visit stillandmovingcenter.com or gandhianpeace.org to sign up.

Yoga has not always been so well received in other states. Alabama banned yoga instruction in public schools in 1993, lifting it only in 2021 despite claims that it would introduce Hinduism into public education. Even the current legislation requires only English words to be used in describing poses and stretches.