June 21st is annually celebrated as International Yoga Day since the year 2015. This year, the 3rd International Day of Yoga is being observed. The purpose of the yoga day is to promote yoga and make it as a part of people’s daily routine.
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated a mass yoga demonstration to commemorate the 3rd International Day of Yoga at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
According to UN, this year Yoga Day’s theme is “Yoga for Health“. The theme has been chosen to highlight the fact that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body.
To mark the celebrations, massive Yoga practice sessions and demonstrations were being held in several places across the country and the world. This year many organisations are organising events to create a Guinness World Record by forming longest human chains and other Yoga related activities. In total, around 5,000 events have been scheduled to take place in about 180 countries. Some of the countries in which yoga day are celebrated are China, UK, the US, Bangladesh, South Africa etc. Indian high commissions around the world have organised many mass yoga demonstrations at various parts of the world. To mark the occasion, the headquarters of the United Nations in New York has been lit up with images of yoga postures.
The first International Yoga Day (IYD) was celebrated across the world on 21 June 2015.
The idea of celebrating the International Yoga Day was pitched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2014. In December 2014, UNGA had unanimously adopted an India-led resolution to observe 21st June as ‘International Day of Yoga’. This resolution was adopted under the agenda of ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy’. The date 21st June was selected because it represents one of the two solstices and is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere which has special significance in many parts of the world.