PERAK folk rose early despite it being a Sunday, sacrificing precious sleep to take part in a mass yoga session to raise funds for Kelantan’s flood victims.
Congregating at SJKC Bercham before dawn, the participants were among thousands of others taking part in the 10,000 Smiles Yoga programme held simultaneously in Selangor, Malacca, Penang and Ipoh.
Organising chairman Fiona Lim Fong Ying said the event was organised by the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) in conjunction with International Yoga Day.
“We are also trying to raise funds for our association’s welfare programmes in other parts of South-East Asia,” said Lim.
In his speech, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai encouraged the participants to take it a step further by incorporating yoga into their daily routine.
“It is a good form of exercise and practice for young and old alike to overcome the increasing stress of modern living,” he said.
Speaking to reporters later, Liow said depression was on the rise among Malaysians.
“It affects everyone, from young children and the old, to university students.
“The result of depression is the increasing number of social problems in the country and a rising suicide rate.
“The best way to fight these is to inculcate values and to promote healthy living,” said Liow, who was accompanied by state health committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
After the yoga session there was a charity food fair and blood donation drive.