Different organisations, institutions and individuals across the country may have marked the International Day of Yoga with great enthusiasm on 21 June, but the famed Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) in Darjeeling adopted a unique way to make people take up the art. It organized a programme at Tenzing Rock, which is around 4 km from the town, where HMI instructors were seen giving instructions from the top of the130 feet tall rock on basic yoga positions and breathing exercises to around 30 local people, mostly shopkeepers.

The event at the Rock was held after a regular one-hourlong Yoga programme on the HMI premises in the morning, where around 150 instructors, tourists and trainees took part.

“Yoga is a good thought, which is part of our age-old tradition and is good for health. We are trying to follow the guidelines of the Indian government so that people around us are aware of Yoga, which they should also practice for their health. We are doing this at Tenzin Rock, which has been named after our legendary mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, whose 105th birth anniversary was marked this year. We felt that if we do Yoga here, we could involve the locals, along with tourists,” said the HMI principal, Jai Kishan.

“When we talk about Tenzing, it was in the year 1953 that he had made a summit of Mt Everest. He had done a unique thing and a new step which the rest of the world followed. So we feel that that is an inspiration to do something new,” he added.

Mr Kishan also maintained that this will further provide inspiration to the people to take up rock-climbing and mountaineering, which is part of adventure sports.

“There is a risk element in adventure sports and the young generation is enthusiastic about doing new things everywhere in the country. Yoga is being done by those associated with the navy in ships, while paratroopers are doing it in the air. So we being mountaineers, this felt this was the right thing to do,” he said.