International Day of Yoga – 21 June

International Day of Yoga logoThe International Yoga Day, marked on June 21, since 2015 is a gift of India to the world. The idea to mark the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, June 21, as the International Yoga Day was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Out of the 193 member states of the United Nations, the proposal was approved by 177 co-sponsoring countries.


In 2015, June 21, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, when Lord Shiva is believed to have imparted the knowledge of yoga to the world, was adopted as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations.

  • The practise of Yoga can be traced back to the time of Lord Shiva.
  • Lord Shiva is also known as the Adi Guru – he who is the teacher to all yogis in the world.
  • The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated in India at Rajpath with Prime Minister Modi, along with dignitaries of 84 nations, in attendance.

Yoga asana

 

The International Yoga Day, marked on June 21, since 2015 is a gift of India to the world. The idea to mark the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, June 21, as the International Yoga Day was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Out of the 193 member states of the United Nations, the proposal was approved by 177 co-sponsoring countries.

June 21, the summer solstice, has special significance from the perspective of yoga. The practice of yoga can be traced back to the time of Lord Shiva, who is also known as the Adi Guru – he who is the guru (teacher) to all yogis in the world. It is believed that it was on the day of the summer solstice that Lord Shiva began imparting the knowledge of yoga to the world and became the Adi Guru of yoga. The first full moon after the summer solstice is the Guru Purnima.

In the pre-Vedic times, yoga is said to have been a part of the lifestyle of the Indians. Maharishi Patanjali codified and organised yoga postures or practices in the Yoga Sutras.

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda had also introduced yoga to the West in his address to the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

Yoga is an important part of Indian culture and civilisation. The practice of yoga is not just beneficial for the body alone; it brings it in alignment with the mind and soul too through the breath.

India holds 2 yoga world records

The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated in India at Rajpath with Prime Minister Modi, along with dignitaries of 84 nations, participating and promoting 21 yoga asanas. The event bagged India two Guinness world records – one for being the world’s largest yoga class featuring 35,985 people and the other for the participation of people belonging to 84 nationalities.

During his speech at the event, PM Modi said, “From the Upanishads, comes the idea of yoga to transform human consciousness through control of body and senses through constant practice. The body is the vehicle for the realisation of the Supreme Being.”

Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga

  • Improves Flexibility. Moving and stretching in new ways will help you become more flexible, bringing a greater range of motion to tight areas. …
  • Builds Strength. …
  • Increases Muscle Tone and Definition. …
  • Improves Balance. …
  • Supports Joint Health. …
  • Prevents Back Pain. …
  • Teaches Better Breathing. …
  • Fosters Mental Calmness.
  • Reduces Stress
  • Increases Self Confidence

 


 

United Nations Resolution 69/131. International Day of Yoga

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 66/2 of 19 September 2011 on the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases and 68/98 of 11 December 2013 on global health and foreign policy,

Reaffirming General Assembly resolutions 53/199 of 15 December 1998 and 61/185 of 20 December 2006 on the proclamation of international years, and Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67 of 25 July 1980 on international years and anniversaries,

Noting the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health,

Underscoring the fact that global health is a long-term development objective that requires closer international cooperation through the exchange of best practices aimed at building better individual lifestyles devoid of excesses of all kinds,

Recognising that yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being,

Recognising also that wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population,

  1. Decides to proclaim 21 June the International Day of Yoga;
  2. Invites all Member and observer States, the organisations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organisations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organisations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Yoga, in an appropriate manner and in accordance with national priorities, in order to raise awareness of the benefits of practising yoga;
  3. Stresses that the cost of all activities that may arise from the implementation of the present resolution should be met from voluntary contributions;
  4. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member and observer States and the organisations of the United Nations system.

69th plenary meeting
11 December 2014

 


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