Last year, the United Nations declared June 21 as International Yoga Day. Inspired by the news, Seattleite Anu Arora, a technology leader and level 3 yoga and Pranayama instructor, was eager to create an event that celebrated yoga and its global recognition. Arora’s passion and idea resonated with Ramanlal Patel and Pravin Trivedi, who are also yoga teachers, and they created the Health Awareness & Health Improvement (HAHI) foundation. Today, the three of them serve on HAHI’s board.

The foundation’s mission is to foster health awareness and improvement that encourages people to live healthy and meaningful lives. Their involvement in the community will vary, and one of their goals for this year was to organize the first-of-its-kind International Yoga Day event in Snohomish on June 21. The event is designed to bring the community together and to provide them with access to practices that promote a healthy lifestyle like yoga, pranayama (breathing) and meditation.

“We want to lower the barriers for people to try out these ancient but powerful healing practices, that’s why we want the event to be free, so people who may not normally be able to afford a day of yoga workshop can try the practice and feel the benefit for themselves. So that each individual can become their own healer.” – Li  Lu Porter

For months now, a group of volunteers have been gathering every Thursday at Sikh Centre Of Seattle in Bothell, Wash., envisioning, planning and organizing the upcoming International Yoga Day. The volunteers include many professionals working at companies such as Boeing, Microsoft – other high-tech companies and community leaders – as well as long-time yoga and meditation teachers.

Bringing this event to life has allowed them to work with incredible people, from the volunteers to their community partners. The journey has truly been a collaborative effort.

The program of the day will include a variety of activities, from yoga, meditation and Pranayama classes to lifestyle talks and free consultations with Ayurveda doctors and practitioners. There will also be ongoing outdoor Sun Salutations and kid’s yoga classes.

SYN: What message do you have for the Seattle yoga community?

HAHI: “The yoga community, and our teachers have already supported us generously by stepping forward, lending their names, time, energy and presence for this event. We have so much gratitude for them! One last shout to the yoga community: on the event day, bring your family, friends, students, come and support us by celebrating this momentous summer solstice day – yoga for all.”

SYN: Who are the people behind the organization?

HAHI: Raman Patel, Pravin Trivedi, Anu Arora, Li Lu-Porter, Prasad Palacharla, Chandru Chandrasekaran and the many wonderful volunteers and community partners.

(Photo info: Starting from the left: Rama Palacharla, Pravin Trivedi, Anu Arora (RYT-200), Raman Patel, Li Lu-Porter (RYT-500), Chandru Chandrasekaran, Prasad Palacharla (RYT-500)?

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