International Day of Yoga

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated in India. The Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in his UN address suggested the date of 21 June, as is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.  Origin: The idea of an international day of yoga was first proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on September 2014.

He stated: Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; 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.

Shri Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly  

Following this initial proposal, the UNGA held informal consultations on the draft resolution, entitled “International Day of Yoga”, on 14 October 2014. The consultations were convened by the delegation of India. In 2015 Reserve Bank of India issued a 10 rupees commemorative coin to mark the International Day of Yoga. In April 2017, UN Postal Administration (UNPA) issued 10 stamps on Asanas on a single sheet to mark International Day of Yoga.

UN Declaration

On 11 December 2014, India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Mukherji introduced the draft resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. The draft text received broad support from 177 Member States who sponsored the text, which was adopted without a vote. This initiative found support from many global leaders. A total of 177 nations co-sponsored the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of such nature.

When proposing 21 June as the date, Modi said that the date was the longest day of the year in the mass northern hemisphere (shortest in the southern hemisphere), having special significance in many parts of the world. From the perspective of yoga, the summer solstice marks the transition to Dakshinayana. The second full moon after summer solstice is known as Guru Poornima. Shiva, the first yogi (Adi Yogi), is said to have begun imparting the knowledge of yoga to the rest of mankind on this day, and became the first guru (Adi Guru). Following the adoption of the UN resolution, several leaders of the spiritual movement in India voiced their support for the initiative. The founder of Isha Foundation, Sadhguru, stated, “this could be a kind of a foundation stone to make scientific approach to the inner wellbeing of the human being, a worldwide thing… It’s a tremendous step for the world. The founder of Art of Living, Ravi Shankar, lauded the efforts of Modi, saying, “It is very difficult for any philosophy, religion or culture to survive without state patronage. Yoga has existed so far almost like an orphan. Now, official recognition by the UN would further spread the benefit of yoga to the entire world.

In Practice

The first International Day of Yoga was observed around the world on 21 June 2015. The Ministry of AYUSH made the necessary arrangements in India. 35,985 people, including PM Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 asanas (yoga postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi, becoming the largest yoga class ever held, and with the largest number—84—of participating nations. Similar days have been held in cities in India and around the world each year since.

An Associated Press report in 2015 noted that the first “International Yoga Day” involved “millions of yoga enthusiasts” who “stretched and twisted”, as well as Modi and members of his cabinet.

Sarvang Asan

Swami Satyanand Saraswati said that yoga is not an ancient myth. It is the essential need of the culture of tomorrow

It is present in India from ancient times. Its philosophical and religious traditions are different and in the present time one may or may not agree with its traditions partly or fully, its practical usefulness is very much seen. In fact its purpose is not only for health but all round personality development restrained and peaceful life and creation of healthy society. Yoga facilitates the conscious process to accomplish mastery over mind.

“Yoga” word means “Yuj” which meant to join unity or joining is described in spiritual terms as union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. According to my perspective, in our hectic life style ‘join with your own body’, means try to listen your won pulses or your own heart rate. As practice of yoga helping considerably in individual, scientist realised that it is the path of peace. The science of living is the style of living and art of living

Today’s much discussed modern yoga is inclined towards materialism. Today’s study or talk of only Asan is used as synonym of yoga. In today’s world people are forgetting the original aim or benefit of yoga.

It’s true that it has spread all over the world but it has strayed over from original aim and purpose.

Yam Niyam and good conduct are its foundation, its purpose is to develop every individual and society personality

Yoga is not only asana – not only physical training basically mental, emotional and spiritual training

Yoga is not sectarian thing – it does not belong to particular person class and family. It is a science of awakening of dormant power.

According to Gita – Complete end of all unhappiness means yoga.

According to Buddha – Concentration of experts mind is yoga

Prof Ram Harsha Singh – Yoga is the union of physical, intellectual, mental and spiritual modes of the personality of the man and also the coordination with them is yoga

Yogasan has an important position in bhartiya tradition of yoga learning.

Relaxation is not possible without practice of right asans. Yogasana is a simple and natural way to attain mental and physical health.

Muscular pressure and transformation were all recorded during yogasana.

Flexibility or elasticity of muscles increased by asan and blood circulation becomes more efficient.

In other physical exercise there is a pressure on the muscles which breaks the blood vessels ad they get hardened.

Prof Dr Laxmikant of medical college of Chennai has found increase in activeness and energy by the practice of halasan, sarvangasan and asan of vipritkarni mudra in the patients with high BP and weak heart. He found that they have better sleep after doing that, means they get more relaxation in their body.

Saubhag prakratik yog chkitsa evam anusandhan Kendra Ajmer – according to them sarvang asan, pavan muktasan, and shav asan were very useful for heart and high BP patients. In Poland Dr Julian director of third clinic of medicine had studied with X Ray, ECG, and such other equipements the effects of shirshasan, he found that there is no pressure on heart, instead blood circulation was better and heart attack can be prevented, It increase WBC and immunity power.

Yoga exercises are very useful in removing psychic, physical psychomatic and all other kind of disease and a person can control endocrine system and become a great person in the physical and spiritual world. It is written by Dr Ibrogoko in glans of destiny. So yogic exercises keep practical control over the mind and endocrine system right from birth to death.