21st June, for centuries it has been celebrated as the longest day of the year. But recently, something more significant has been attached to the already special date. From 2015, the day has been celebrated as the International Day of Yoga or Yoga Day. Introduced to the world primarily by India, yoga is a holistic practice that unites the physical, mental and spiritual realms.
The present Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, proposed the notion of International Day of Yoga. During his addressing to the UNGA on 27th September 2014, the Indian Prime Minister enumerated the various benefits of yoga and its potential to improve the quality of human life, both physically and mentally. He summed up the speech with the idea of celebrating “an International Yoga Day” on the longest day of the year i.e. 21st June.
Following Indian PM’s suggestion, UNGA held informal consultations on 14th October 2014 on a draft resolution with the heading “International Day of Yoga.” Finally, the promising day was declared unanimously by the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) on the 11th day of December in 2014.
The rustic Indian practice of Yoga has become a form of modern-day practice to unite the mind and body. The practice has seen a whooping adoption rate throughout the world. Owing to the fact, the announcement of celebrating an international day for the practice is very important. Millions of people around the world accept the fact of Yoga helping their lives transform into something more, something more meaningful and lively.
1st International Day of Yoga
The first ever International Day of Yoga was observed worldwide on 21st of June in 2015. The day was celebrated zestfully by millions around the globe. In India, the occasion was celebrated with an event organized at Rajpath in the national capital by the Ministry of AYUSH (The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). The event was attended by 35,985 people, including Indian PM Mr. Narendra Modi and 84 foreign dignitaries. It entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for 2 reasons, one for being the largest yoga class of 35,895 people and the other for the largest number, 84, of participating nationalities.
2nd International Day of Yoga
The second International Day of Yoga was celebrated on the 21st day of 2016. Observed by millions of people around the globe, the occasion was celebrated with zest and vigor in India. An event entitled “The National Event of Mass Yoga Demonstration” was organized in Chandigarh, with the absolute presence of Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. In America, the day was celebrated with a special event organized by the UN entitled “Conversation with Yoga Masters – Yoga for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
3rd International Day of Yoga
The third International Day of Yoga is scheduled for 21st June, 2017. Like the previous 2 years, several world authorities, NGOs, groups, and people are ready to celebrate the auspicious event to promote health and well-being among their respective societies. The event, in a way, has given an opportunity to the world cultures to stand together and unite for a common cause.