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International Yoga Day 2022

My Magazine 2022/07
5 min
Derived from the Sanskrit language the word “Yoga” refers to uniting (with someone) or joining. Ancient Indian sage Patañjali is thought to be the Father of Modern Yoga because he is the person who codified all the aspects of Yoga into a certain format and introduced Yoga Sutras.

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. The core purpose of IDY is to create mass awareness regarding the Health Benefits of Yoga for the people. Over the years, IDY has become a mass movement for health.

'Yoga for Humanity' was chosen theme for International Yoga Day 2022. The theme was focusing on the numerous benefits of yoga. Recognizing the importance of yoga, this year yoga day theme focussed on how yoga helps to cure Covid-19 and how it will help the achieving holistic health of every individual.

The International Day of Yoga was hosted by the Indian Social and Cultural Association ISCA, The Gambia in association with The Embassy of India, Dakar and The Office of The Honorary Consul General of India at the American International University Campus on Saturday 18th June 2022 by 10:00 A.M. It was well attended by members of the Indian Community, Gambian Community, International Community and students of the University.

The International Day of Yoga is celebrated by a harmonious demonstration of a custom made 45-minute protocol namely, Common Yoga Protocol (CYP). It is to be practiced at all the event locations, during the IDY celebration. Common Yoga Protocol has been designed with the consensus of all the experts. CYP comprises day-to-day Yoga practice for the masses to reap all the benefits of Yoga. The protocol intends to create general awareness among the masses to attain peace, harmony and well-being through Yoga practices e.g., Yoga Nidra, Pranayama, Dhyan, etc. Enjoy the videos of the best Yoga sessions, keep learning and continue to reap the benefits of Yoga practices the protocol intends to create general awareness among the masses to attain peace, harmony and well-being through Yoga practices e.g. Yoga Nidra, Pranayama, Dhyan, etc. During the event, different yoga asanas are explained for their health benefits and demonstrations are made to be followed by the audience.

The Yoga Instructors leading the event were:

Gabriele von dem Bussche is a German national, who grew up in India and Singapore and has spent the last 20 years of the professional life in the UK before coming to The Gambia. Gabriele has completed her training as a yoga instructor for Hatha yoga with Christiane Wolff in 2020. Since then, she has worked as a part time work instructor at the Flowing Om Studio and giving private lessons in The Gambia.

Gretta Sebastian is a Certified Yoga therapist, From Kerala India. Gretta started practicing yoga in 2001 and in 2016 Did her Diploma in Yoga therapy from Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University.  She is specialised in yoga therapy and treatment methods for senior citizens and people with lifestyle diseases.

Melissa Daswani from Yoga Bliss Gambia has been teaching Hatha yoga in the Gambia since 2015.  Her own Yoga journey started when she was young through her mother, who is still also an avid yogi. Melissa enjoys the peace and tranquility that the practice of yoga creates mentally but also the physical aspect that can bring freedom to the body and movement.  She hopes to spread awareness about the benefits of yoga to more people in the Gambia.  Melissa is also a monthly contributor to the My Magazine (My Gambia), writing various articles on Yoga.  Currently, she teaches at Fajara club and Phenomenal Women.

Mohammed Legally-Cole is from Sierra Leone with more than 20 yrs training experience. He started Yoga in Sierra Leone from Gita Ashram in freetown and later at the National Stadium in Freetown with instructor Mr Ibrahim Jalloh now in the USA teaching Yoga. He became a Yoga and fitness instructor since 1996. He is presently a fitness trainer and Yoga instructor at the Independent Stadium in Bakau and is a physical therapist at the Classical Sports Therapy Centre at the same venue.

Morgane Sonko, is a French yoga instructor. She’s teaching a therapeutic SlowFlow yoga approach with the knowledge of body anatomy, working flexibility strength and breathe in movement and consciousness She has been teaching in France and the USA for the last few years and her focus is the well-being of the mind in a functional, mobile body. She teaches yoga in Raffa studio in Kotu and in her studio in Brusubi.


The instructors: Left to right Melissa, Gretta, Mohammed, Morgane and Gabriele.



  • Main Sponsor - Govt of India and Embassy of India, Dakar.
  • American International University of West Africa
  • Swami India Limited
  • Express Supermarket
  • Bel Aqua
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