When we think of North Korea, the first thing we think of is its supreme leader Kim Jong Un and the way he rules the nation. Barring the local news that is run by the government, we don’t see or hear much coming out of the state, which has the worst Press Freedom Index in the World, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Yet, in the midst of it, one man seems to be looking at the positive side of things. Joachim Bergstrom, the Swedish ambassador to the country, has been sharing images on his Twitter profile where he is seen doing yoga in the middle of the streets.
In one image he is seen doing a perfect headstand, while in another he is seen showcasing his skills next to the Taedong River in Pyongyang.
Bergstrom, who has been in North Korea as an ambassador since September 2019, came prepared to use the exercise regimen as a way to stay healthy and unwind in a country where foreigners and residents are under constant restraints, news agency Reuters reported.
On June 21, which is International Yoga Day, he even retweeted India in North Korea’s Twitter post that had a bunch of Indians in Pyongyang doing various yoga asanas.
Interestingly, Bergstrom is one of the few diplomats who chose to stay back in North Korea, even as a number of European diplomats chose to go back to their respective nations. He now spends time teaching yoga to people, the report added.
“Some get bewildered looks when I go upside down in head-stand,” he told Reuters by messaging app from Pyongyang. “Connecting – even peripherally – through folks smiling or talking about my yoga practice among themselves – has been a very rewarding experience,” he told Reuters.
Yoga, he says, has given him something to rely on during uncertain times that include power cuts, water shortages, limited communication and now, coronavirus lockdowns.