International Day of Yoga Speech Contest #IDY2023

Icon Shakti is happy to announce the first annual speech contest for kids and adults on the occasion of the 9th International Day of Yoga (#IDY23). 

Contest Results: 

Balance Group - 1) First Prize - Sharanya Deep, Second Prize - Naisha Gupta, Third Prize - Aarav Singh.

Breathe and Bliss Group Combined - 1) First Prize - Shipra Jha, Second Prize - Ayati Ojha, Third Prize - Prabhakar Singh.

Date & Time: Sunday, June 18, 2023, 2 - 5 p.m. 

Venue: Community Service Building, 2900, Main Street, Buffalo Grove. We are thankful to Vernon Township for their help in conducting this contest.

We are thankful to our prize sponsors - Windham Yoga (, Amitha Fashions (, Balodyan (, Pradnya Puranik, & Yoganubhav (

Please sign up here by June 15 for the Free Speech Contest: 

Click to check out our Yoga for Wellness Poster Contest.

Click to sign up for the free Community Yoga and Wellness Walk.

Speech Contest Rules:

1) The contest will be held in three age groups - Balance group ages 8-12 years, Breathe group ages 13-18 years, and Bliss group 18+ years.

2) Topic : Yoga for Wellness

3) Prizes for EACH group - first prize - $50, second prize - $35, third prize - $25, if a minimum of 10 participants are in each group. Only two prizes will be awarded in case of 6 - 9 participants, one prize in case of 3 - 5 participants. In case of less than 3 participants, the participants may be merged with the other nearest age category. Selected few speakers in each age category will be invited to deliver their speeches live at the Community Yoga event on June 24.

4) There is NO entry fee for entering this contest.

5) The contest is open to all participants of the ages specified.

6) All speeches will have to be delivered in person at the contest location.

7) Maximum time per speech is 3 minutes. Speeches beyond this time will be disqualified. Organizers' decision will be final in this regard.

8) Language of speeches should be English only.

9) Hate-inducing, violence-provoking, derogatory, vulgar, and off-the-topic speeches will be disqualified from the contest. Organizers' decision will be final in this respect.

10) Speech will be given by a single person in the form of a discourse / lecture, and not as a conversation with another person.

11) Contestants may be required randomly to submit a proof of their birth date (birth certificate or school record).

12) A panel of judges will choose winners in each category based on criteria such as language, content, clarity, memorization, delivery, uniqueness, and effect of the speech. Judges' decision will be final. 

13) Winners will be announced on Saturday, June 24 at the 9th International Day of Yoga event at Peterson Pool Park (16652, N. Buffalo Grove Road, Prairie View, IL, 60069) at 10:15 a.m. All are invited to join us for the free community yoga practice and a wellness walk before and after the prize distribution. Please sign up for this free event here: (event is free, registration is mandatory).

14) For more information, please write to or call 1-847-537-4710 (landline).

15) Guidelines for the Content of the Speech :

1) What is Yoga ? Please give one or two classic definitions of Yoga.

2) How does Yoga improve one's physical, mental, spiritual awareness ?

3) What benefits of yoga have you experienced on personal level ?

4) Please feel free to add more content, given the topic of the contest.

Our Judges: Bio and Comments

Smt. Poonam Malave moved to Chicago in 2017 from California and called it home since then. She is  a happy- go lucky person, who lives life to the fullest. She believes in giving best to every job small or big. She loves camping, hiking in the forest and cooking and eating different cuisines. She works as Senior Scientist with AbbVie.  She is a big believer in volunteering and giving back to society in every way.

Comments: "To begin with I would like to say,  a speech contest with such a unique topic "Yoga for wellness"  was something we don't come across often. Kudos to team Vidya to take this initiative and invite people to talk about this topic and spread the good word about yoga and its benefits. It was encouraging to see young talent, to be part of this program. Apart from this, it is also good to hear people's experiences and how yoga has become a part of their daily ritual."  

Smt. Shilpa Nallapati  is a mother and a wife to a loving family. She is a Trainer & practitioner of Heartfulness Meditation which is a method of meditating on the heart by regulating your mind. This meditation is free for everyone. She is also a Real Estate agent by profession who believes in honesty and straight talk. She is all about building new and long lasting relations with her clients which makes her clients happy. She is a member of the Lake County Indians Association where they bring community together by organizing traditional/ helpful events for everyone.

Comments: "Thanks to Vidya ji , It was a thoughtful and well organized event.  Also a great opportunity for everyone to improve public speaking along with gaining/improving their knowledge on Yoga. It was wonderful to see all age groups participate in it , especially younger generation here taking part in such events . All kids were talented and presented their skill with ease. I especially liked ‘Soham’ (13-17 age group) for his cheerful and brave attitude. This is one way to spread the message of Yoga to one and all. I wish best wishes to all the participants and Vidyaji to conduct many more of these events."  

Smt. Rekha Vemuri currently works for a Pharma company in the Regulatory Affairs space. She holds a Ph.D in Environmental  Sciences and has a Diploma Degree in Carnatic Music. She has a passion for music and teaches Carnatic music to kids in her free time. She is the current President of Lake County Indians Association a Non profit organization serving the Indian community. 

Comments: "It was a previlage to judge the speech competition organized by Vidya ji. The event was very well organized and planned meticulously. I was very happy to see young kids express their thoughts about Yoga and health and the level of awareness they exhibited. I would strongly encourage Vidya ji to spread the word and have more and more kids participate in these kinds of events. "