Dhaka Flow, a festival of yoga and wellness, was held in the Gulshan Society Lake Park on Friday with an aim to promote healthy living.
Organisers said this festival -- initiated by Shazia Omar, co-hosted with Gulshan Society and managed by Interspeed -- was the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
Around 60 private sector companies, 20 fitness teachers and healers, and over 1,500 people participated in the event, according to a press release.
Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan and Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard also joined the event and, during the opening session, they expressed their belief in yoga as a positive way of life.
The press release said the event was entirely free from plastic waste and eco-friendly. No plastic water bottles were sold in the event. All companies participating did not use PVC banners. Stalls were made of bamboo and jute with cloth canvas signs, keeping an eye on the aesthetics, to ensure an eco-artistic feel.
Shazia Omar said Dhaka Flow showcased the involvement of many people in the wellness sector in their own way.
Vendors of wellness products showcased their items during the event, including yoga dresses, yoga mats, organic skin and hair care products, healthy grain products, calcium-fortified milk for bone health, suicide hotline and mental health services.
Sprint from Apex showcased shoes made from recycled plastic bottles. Medicine sellers, movement solution providers, meditation and energy healing service providers and physiotherapists also offered their services from stalls.
A kids’ zone was kept open during the event. There was also the presence of 14 food vendors who took on the challenge of designing purely vegetarian treats, the press release added.
In the opening session, Shazia Omar said she organised Dhaka Flow as a way to give space to all the people making efforts to contribute to a healthy community.
“Dhaka City can be a toxic space with chaotic traffic, population density, air pollution and overall lack of healthy living. Given this, it is important for us to cultivate a higher conscience and embrace a more intentional way of life that is harmonious and nurturing for our people and our planet,” said Shazia.
She said healthy living is not about exercise alone, it’s about mind, body, and spirit, as well as home, community, and country.
Shazia said, “One cannot be healthy in isolation. Good health requires good physical health, good mental, psychological, emotional health, clean air, green earth, pure water.”
She described a vision of Dhaka city as a place that is free, healthy, clean, inclusive and green.
To join the wellness movement and ‘surrender to the flow’, Shazia invites everyone to check out Dhaka Flow’s website and join the Dhaka Flow community on Facebook and Instagram.
Shayaan Seraj, the convenor of the GS Lake Park, said, “The park represents the perfect space to promote healthy living. When Shazia approached us with the idea, we immediately agreed. It is very important to keep the youth in our community engaged with healthy activities such as yoga and meditation. We look forward to partnering up with Dhaka Flow and making it a multi-day festival in the future!”
The secretary general of Gulshan Society, Barrister Shukla Sarwat Siraj, expressed his intention to partner with other passionate members of the community to host more innovative social events in the year.
The event was closed with some beautiful songs by Armeen Musa, a Grammy award nominee.