Mother of Yoga Yogmata Keiko Aikawa & International Womens Day

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On Friday, March 9th, 2018 and in honor of International Womens Day at the Women’s UN Peace Summit, visionary Ms. Yogmata Keiko Aikawa will speak and inspire. For those not familiar with Yogmata Keiko Aikawa, she is known as the international “Mother of Yoga.”

This special evening is dedicated to acknowledging the role of women in spreading a culture of peace across the globe. Aikawa advocates for peace through the practice of yoga and meditation.

International Womens Day

As the world’s first female and non-Indian (Japanese) Siddha Master, she will share her struggles breaking cultural and gender barriers to learn and practice meditation and yoga more than 60 years ago. Yogmata Keiko Aikawa will also lead a rarely available meditation session to help attendees develop mindfulness and individual awareness.

Along with this special woman’s inspirational story, attendees will also hear from UN directors and dignitaries and other guest speakers, including spiritual guru and writer Pilot Baba, on the empowering ways women are leading the change for peace through yoga and meditation. So fitting for International Women’s Day.

Yogmata Keiko Aikawa is a champion for women and children and the timing couldn’t be better to hear her vision, her inspirations and her thought provoking messages of serenity, oneness and mindfulness. During these dividing times, learning to find ways towards peace and harmony is more necessary than ever.

International Womens Day

Yogmata Keiko Aikawa — photo credit:

As a humanitarian, her charitable work includes the establishment of her organization, NPO: Yogmata Foundation, a social welfare service foundation in India, donation of mobile hospitals to remote villages in India, and holding lectures and seminars as part of the World Peace Campaign.

She has performed 18 public Samadhis, most notably at the Maha Kumbh Mela, a festival held once every 144 years and attended by more than 70 million people, including prominent celebrities and figures such as Paul McCartney and Madonna. For more on Yogmata, visit this site.

International Womens Day & UN International Day of Yoga

The celebratory event as part of International Womens Day is a continuation of the “UN International Day of Yoga,” proclaimed by the UN on December 11, 2014 (Resolution 69/131), to be celebrated on June 21 every year. Since December 2016, yoga has been declared an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. This event is organized by Coplanet International, with the sponsorship of the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations.

This special event to celebrate International Womens Day will be held this Friday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City (45st Street at 1st Avenue).   

UN International Womens Day

Credit: UN

Additionally, on March 8, 2018 in honor of International Womens Day, The Time is Now event will be held at the UN Headquarters (General Assembly Hall).  

Moderated by WABC News’ Sade Baderinwa, panelists include António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly, Hon. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia, H.E. Geraldine Byrne Nason, Chair of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Monica Ramirez, Co-Founder and President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (Keynote) and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women.

There will also be a fireside chat with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, Reese Witherspoon, Academy Award–winning actor and activist and Danai Gurira, Tony-nominated playwright, actor and activist.

Also speaking will be Jayathma Wickramanayake, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Karen Yelick, CEO Indego Africa, Marai Larasi, Executive Director, Imkaan and Shahrashoub Razavi, Chief, Research and Data, UN Women with a video message by Arunachalam Muruganantham.

This event to honor International Womens Day will also feature musical performances by Drew Olivia Tillman and Broadway Singers. Check out the UN Women page for more details on their work and events. Join the online conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #IWD2018 #TimeIsNow, and following @UN_Women.

International Womens Day

Credit: IWD

Now more than ever before, people across the world are mobilizing, with marches and campaigns like #MeToo, #NiUnaMenos, or #Ana_kaman, for a future that is more equal. A great way to get involved and help on or offline is NOW, with a kick off of International Womens Day.

Activists are working to positively effect a range of policy, legislative and social reform; from founding projects to end violence at the workplace to providing access to services for ethnic, immigrant and minority women, working every day to leave no one behind.

The ever so important International Womens Day is a great time to join the efforts, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are striving to claim women’s rights.

International Womens Day is celebrated on March 8 every year and commemorates the movement for women’s rights.

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