International Yoga Day
Every year International Yoga Day is observed on June 21. The idea behind the day is to create awareness about yoga and its many benefits.
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History of International Yoga Day
The idea of an International Yoga Day was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 in the United Nations General Assembly Meeting. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131. The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, in which he said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action … a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”
Yoga: Our Heritage
The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. ‘Yoga’ was first mentioned in the sacred text of the Rig Veda. From ancient days Yoga has been practiced as meditative technique that cleanses, heals and harmonises the body from the core. Yoga is considered as the most effective tools for physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India.
Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. At present it is even practiced and widely appreciated in Western cultures for its tremendous capacity to bring about a great improvement in mind and body balance, wellness of the mind, and an overall sense of calmness.
International Yoga Day 2021
The Day will be marked at a time when COVID-19 pandemic continues to save lives and livelihoods of people globally.
Beyond its immediate impact on physical health, the COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated psychological suffering and mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, as pandemic-related restrictions continue in various forms in many countries. This has highlighted the urgent need to address the mental health dimension of the pandemic, in addition to the physical health aspects.
The message of Yoga in promoting both the physical and mental well-being of humanity has never been more relevant. A growing trend of people around the world embracing Yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated and to fight social isolation and depression has been witnessed during the pandemic. Yoga is also playing a significant role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in quarantine and isolation. It is particularly helpful in allaying their fears and anxiety.
Recognizing this important role of Yoga, this year’s commemoration of the International Day of Yoga focuses on “Yoga for well-being” – how the practice of Yoga can promote the holistic health of every individual.
The COVID-19 pandemic means that many of us are staying at home and sitting down more than we usually do. It’s hard for a lot of us to do the sort of exercise we normally do. It’s even harder for people who don’t usually do a lot of physical exercise. But at a time like this, it’s very important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible. WHO’s Be Active campaign aims to help you do just that – and to have some fun at the same time.
So the message: Don’t be lazy, do Yoga every day and enjoy the life to its fullest.