A foundation is planning to set up what it claims will be Asia’s largest yoga center in the Buleleng district on the north coast of Bali, a spokesman said on Thursday.
The Bali-India Foundation, formed by a group of like-minded Indonesians and Indians with the aim of bringing the two Hindu cultures closer together, hopes to start building the yoga center — Markandeya Yoga City — early next year, said Dr. Somvir, an Indian professor who lectures in cultural studies and tourism at Bali’s Udayana University and the founder of the group.
Somvir said the cornerstone of the center, to be built on a 1.5-hectare plot of land near the village of Sukasada, would be laid on March 3 next year, in conjunction with the opening of an International Bali-India Yoga Festival.
“The yoga city will run programs to bring yoga-inspired education to elementary and high school-level student,” Somvir said.
According to Somvir, the construction of Markandeya will take place over stages, with the land being cleared in cooperation with the local community.
He said the yoga education center, named after a Hindu sage, would use Ayurveda traditional medicine as its basis, with various kinds of plants being grown in and around the center and Sukasada village.
About 50 types of mostly medicinal plants from India, believed to be effective in curing a variety of diseases, have already been planted.
“The yoga center will be fully dedicated to social activities and the local community’s well-being,” Somvir said.
He said the future home of Markandeya would be the venue of the March 3-10 second International Bali-India Yoga Festival, expected to be attended by around 1,500 participants from India, Europe, the United States and Asia.
Somvir said Bali hosted a weeklong international yoga festival from March 3-10 this year, which involved hundreds of yoga instructors from countries around the world.
Themed “Yoga for Peace and Health,” the March festival was followed by a yoga day program and a series of activities centered in the Niti Mandala Renon area in Denpasar.