Delhi looks to take yoga to doorsteps, offers citizens free classes, teachers

Updated on Dec 14, 2021 04:42 AM IST

Starting January, the Delhi government will offer free yoga classes to people within their housing societies, colony parks or even community centres

In a bid to make yoga a “mass movement” by making it a community practice, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched the “Dilli Ki Yogshala” programme in which 400 certified yoga instructors will impart yoga lessons to at least 20,000 people at their doorsteps. (ANI)
In a bid to make yoga a “mass movement” by making it a community practice, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched the “Dilli Ki Yogshala” programme in which 400 certified yoga instructors will impart yoga lessons to at least 20,000 people at their doorsteps. (ANI)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

tarting January, the Delhi government will offer free yoga classes to people within their housing societies, colony parks or community centres.

In a bid to make yoga a “mass movement” by making it a community practice, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched the “Dilli Ki Yogshala” programme, in which 400 certified yoga instructors will impart yoga lessons to at least 20,000 people at their doorsteps in the city next month onwards.

“Yoga is India’s gift to the entire world. I asked many people why they do not actively practise yoga. To this, the most common answer was that people either don’t have anyone to teach them, or the classes are very expensive and unaffordable. Then, the lack of discipline also posed a problem – practising for a couple of days and then slacking. Keeping these obstacles in mind, we formulated the idea to launch the Dilli Ki Yogshala programme which will provide you with classes and teachers free of cost,” Kejriwal said at the launch event at the Delhi secretariat on Monday.

“All you need to do is arrange a group of 25 people who are willing to learn yoga, decide on an open space near your house, like a park or a community hall, and then give us a missed call on 9013585858. The Delhi government will assign a teacher to you. I believe people will enthusiastically take part in large numbers in this programme,” he said.

People can also visit the website www.dillikiyogshala.com to register for the programme. The process includes filling the individual’s details, and the venue chosen by the people. One the registration is done, an instructor will be sent to the applicant’s locality and classes will start six days a week.

The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated on June 21, 2015 after its inception at the United Nations General Assembly. In Delhi alone, the event saw the participation of nearly 36,000 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CM Kejriwal, then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and dignitaries from 84 nations, who performed 21 asanas for 35 minutes at Delhi’s Rajpath.

The International Day of Yoga created two records, a Guinness World Record for the largest yoga classes at a single venue and the other for the highest number of nationalities to have participated in such a programme.

The Delhi government’s yogshala programme was conceptualised in the beginning of this year, and it was passed in the budget in February. For the trainers, the Delhi government has roped in the Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University (DPSRU) and its own training and technical education (TTE) team. The Center for Meditation and Yoga Sciences (CMYS) was established in collaboration with the DPSRU. CMYS launched diploma and certificate courses and enrolled more than 650 students. These students were trained and certified to be yoga instructors, and they will now teach the Delhi residents, a senior government official said.

The instructors will coordinate with a member of each group, who will be called “group coordinator”, to organise the classes. The group coordinator will talk to the instructor and fix the time and venue (as deemed suitable by all participants) for the yoga classes. To participate, citizens will have to register themselves on dillikiyogshala.com, the official explained.

“An integral component of this initiative is to inculcate an enhanced sense of community within citizens. This initiative will also utilise public spaces like parks, community centres and so on, to their best potential by turning them into venues for community yoga sessions. By transforming these spaces into zones of meditation and positive thinking, the initiative will spread greater awareness about yoga as a means towards creating a happier individual. The concept behind Dilli Ki Yogshala is to make yoga reach door-to-door and to transform it into a mass movement by providing a certified yoga instructor to the public, free of cost,” Kejriwal said.

BS Vohra, president of East Delhi residents welfare association joint front, welcomed the move. “No doubt it is a good initiative. It will give a boost to the health as well immunity of Delhiites... RWAs must get involved to encourage citizens to join yoga training,” Vohra said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sweta Goswami writes on politics, urban development, transportation, energy and social welfare. Based in Delhi, she tracks government policies and suggests corrections based on public feedback and on-ground implementation through her reports. She has also covered the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) since its inception.

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