International Day of Yoga

A dozen things about the International Day of Yoga

  1. The International Day of Yoga is also known as International Yoga Day, World Yoga Day and UN International Yoga Day.
  2. The idea of an International Day of Yoga was the first proposed by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on September 27, 2014

He said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” — Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly (source)

  1. The International Day of Yoga is being celebrated on June 21 every year since its inception in 2015.
  2. June 21 was selected for this day as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.
  3. From the perspective of yoga, the summer solstice (on June 21) marks the transition to Dakshinayana. The first yogi (Adi Yogi) is said to have started imparting the knowledge of yoga to the rest of mankind on this special day and became the first guru.
  4. During the first International Day of Yoga, the Prime Minister of India led more than 35,000 participants performing yoga in New Delhi, India.
  5. More than 177 countries supported International Day of Yoga whereas 175 countries are co-sponsoring the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsor in any United National General Assembly resolutions of this kind.
  6. It was the Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who first supported Mr. Modi for his unique proposal of having an International Day dedicated to Yoga.
  7. Now onward, it will be an annual feature and will be related to World Health Day.
  8. Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Government of India is the nodal agency to coordinate different activities related with International Yoga Day.
  9. The Logo of International Day of Yoga (IDY) reflects harmony and peace for humanity, which is the essence of Yoga.
  10. Many cities world over organise ‘Yogathon’ and other events focusing on Yoga to commemorate the International Day of Yoga.

Year 2017 Highlights:

  1. India is the yoga capital of the world. Several events are lined up in hundreds of cities in India to commemorate this day. Mysuru in the southern part of India will be celebrating the International Day of Yoga in a fittingly high-profile way. The city will be attempting to create a new Guinness Record for the largest number of people taking part in yoga.
  2. India’s one of the many highlights would be the participation of 72 students and teachers from the City Montessori School of Lucknow. They will be performing yoga at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on June 21, 2017. (Source)
  3. The United Nations will issue special stamps commemorating Yoga Day. The UN postal agency, UN Postal Administration (UNPA) will issue a new special event sheet consisting of stamps with images of the sacred Indian sound ‘Om’ and various yoga poses.
  4. Singapore has around 50 events lined up across the island country. These events will be free of charge. Some events are being held from June 17 to 25 at Changi Airport, ION Orchard Mall, and several schools and universities. (source)
  5. Malaysia is aiming to set a record. The country is attempting to hold its largest ever yoga session in Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur with 10,000 participants. The event will make it into the Malaysia Guinness Book of Records is it is successful. The current record is of 5,000 participants set at the 2016 event.
  6. New Yorkers (USA) can head to Times Square for a free yoga class on Wednesday, June 21, to celebrate IDY. The event is being held in partnership with the UN. Classes will be held all day on the longest day of the year. Registration is open now and anyone wanting to make a donation to the class is welcome to participate.
  7. Fitness giant Lululemon in Canada will be offering four free yoga classes on June 21 at their Scarborough Town Centre location in Toronto. The range of classes includes metabolic fire starter, freedom flow, slow flow and aromatherapy yoga. Canada will also celebrate International Yoga Day Canada on June 25 with more events.
  8. The largest ever yoga event in the Netherlands was held recently with 1,000 participants to mark the Third International Day of Yoga. The event was organized by the Indian Embassy with the support of The Hague City Council. (source)
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