21 June: International Day of Yoga
Every year 21 June is being observed as International Day of Yoga (अंतर्राष्ट्रीय योग दिवस) across the globe to spread awareness about practicing yoga.
2016 Theme: “Connect the Youth”.
The year 2016 it is second edition of the International Day of Yoga. This year’s observance seeks to highlight the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted by all 193 UN member states in 2015.
To mark the day, several events were organised across the world to highlight the importance of Yoga. In India, Union Government had organised National Event of Mass Yoga Demonstration at the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh. In this event Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had performed yoga.
- 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 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’.
- 21st June was selected because it represents summer solstice (one of the two solstices) and it is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere which has special significance in many parts of the world.
- Yoga is a physical, mental or spiritual practice attributed mostly to India.
- The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit language which means to unite or to join, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
- Maharishi Patanjali is considered as the ‘father of Yoga’. He had compiled 195 Yoga Sutras which had become the foundation of Yoga philosophy.
- The commentary on these sutras is called Bhasya and the core essence of Patanjali’s yoga philosophy is the eightfold path of Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga) that focusses upon healthy living through Yoga.
- It has been attributed that Yoga balances body and soul, mental and physical well-being. It promotes harmony among people and between ourselves and the natural world.