International Day of Yoga, or commonly and unofficially referred to as Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice originated in India.
The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi during his speech at the UNGA, on 27 September 2014.
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.
The event at Rajpath established two Guinness world records awarded to the Ministry of AYUSH, and received by the minister Shripad Yesso Naik. They were for the largest yoga class, of 35,985 people, and for the largest number of participating nationalities (84 nations). In San Francisco, 5,000 participants gathered in the Marina Green park to practice yoga.
A senior government official said, “The government of India has decided to take forward the momentum created by International Day of Yoga, 2015 with greater and more active participation of youth during the current year celebrations.” The ministry organized an event titled “The National Event of Mass Yoga Demonstration” at Chandigarh, which was to be attended by the Indian Prime Minister.
India’s Permanent Mission to the UN organized celebrations at the United Nations on 20 and 21 June 2016. A special event titled “Conversation with Yoga Masters – Yoga for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals” was the centerpiece.Jaggi Vasudev was the main speaker at the event.
In Lucknow, the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi participated in the event and practiced yoga along with 51,000 participants.Many business leaders in India also took part in the event. In New York, thousands of participants gathered to practice yoga on Times Square. Japan created a Parliamentary League for the promotion of yoga just prior to the event, in April 2017.In China, the largest gathering was 10,000 participants in the city of Wuxi.In Athens, the event took place on 25 June as part of the Greek Open Yoga Day and in Kyiv, the event happened on 18 June and gathered a few hundred participants. In Ireland, participants met in the round room of the City Hall in Dublin.
The event in Dehradun was held at the Forest Research Institute. PM Modi led an estimated 50,000 volunteers to mark the fourth anniversary of International Yoga Day. The theme for 2018 was “Yoga for Peace”. Over 100,000 people gathered at a yoga session in Kota, Rajasthan and performed yoga together, earning the city a Guinness World Record.
The main event will be held in Ranchi and is expected to draw about 50,000 participants. The theme of the day is going to be “Yoga for Heart”. and it is going to be a great day of harmonizing development to our body.