International Yoga Day or Yoga Day is observed worldwide on 21 June every year. The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), proposed the idea of International Day of Yoga on 27 September 2014. Later in December, India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Mukherji introduced the draft resolution in UNGA, which found support from 177 Member States & was adopted without any vote. 177 nations co-sponsored this resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution!

PM Modi proposed 21 June as the date as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, having very special significance in many parts of the world. 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).

International Day of Yoga was observed the first time on 21 June 2015 by almost 35,985 people including Prime Minister Narendra Modi & 84 international dignitaries at Rajpath, New Delhi. This event made two Guinness world records- for largest yoga class & largest no. of international dignitaries participating.

In Sanskrit, the word yoga comes from the root yuj which means “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach”. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. So much so, Yoga is listed as UNESCO’s Intangible cultural heritage. Yoga is practiced not only in Hinduism, but also in Jainism & Buddhism in different forms.

International Day of Yoga, 2017

  1. Yoga on-board INS Jalashwa & INS Kirch in the Bay of Bengal

2. Yoga session for BSF personnel, conducted by Isha Foundation.

3. 4,000 people at the iconic Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in the UAE.

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