The statement received applause from the parliamentarians as they could feel and sense the validity of the statement. Yoga is one of the the most cherished gifts presented to us by our ancestors, and today the whole world is benefitting from the merits of this invaluable heritage. The declaration of International Yoga Day by the UN replicates the importance of Yoga in the global perspective.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his speech at the at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 27th September 2014, gave a clarion call to declare 21st June as International Yoga Day since it is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and holds special significance in many parts of the world. Later, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21st June as International Yoga Day through a draft resolution on October 14, 2014.

Soon after the resolution was passed a vibe of enthusiasm ran through the veins of the nation and preparations for the Yoga Day were started in different parts of the country. The initiative gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaping applause from every section of the society but especially from the spiritual leaders.

In the first year of International Yoga Day, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) took all the necessary steps to ensure the grand success of the event. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with 35,985 people and dignitaries of 81 countries took part in an event at Rajghat where there performed 31 yoga Asanas.  

National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets entered the Limca Book of Records for the largest Yoga performance simultaneously by a single uniformed youth organization.  

The Rajpath event broke the record for the largest yoga class, with 35,985 people performing the ancient Indian discipline at once. The previous record was held by Gwalior's Jiwaji University, with 29,973 people.

The other record set at Rajpath was for the largest number of nationalities at a yoga event. Volunteers and invitees from 84 different countries took part to set the record. This event made way to the Guinness Book of World Records. The award was received by Shripad Yesso Naik,(Minister for Yoga and Traditional Medicine, Government of India) on the behalf of Ministry of AYUSH.

This year too, the Ministry of Ayush is all set to escalate the momentum that was created last year.  According to the Ministry, this year the participation of younger generation will be quite high compared to the last year.  The event titled ‘The National Event of Mass Yoga Demonstration’ organized by the Ministry of AYUSH in Chandigarh will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with dignitaries from various parts of the world.

A total of 30,000 participants —10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana — will participate in the event. While the main event will be held at Capitol Complex, city residents will do yoga at a total of 180 centres across the city. The Chandigarh administration has put in a lot of efforts into making the arrangements for the event. In the run-up to it, a four-day yoga festival and month-long training camps were organised at 180 locations for which nearly 45,000 residents enrolled.

The United Nation has also geared up for the Second International Day of Yoga. The headquarters has been lit up to mark the occasion. UN delegates, spiritual heads, and members of Indian associations are expected to participate in the gala event.

India’s Permanent Mission to the UN will be organizing events at the United Nations on June 20 and 21.  Spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev will be the key speaker at the event.  A special event titled ‘Conservation with Yoga Masters-Yoga for the achievement of the sustainable development goal’ is the centrepiece of the event at the UN.

In Delhi, the event will be celebrated at seven different locations. New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has been given the charge to organize the event at different locations. The department is expecting congregation of more than 10,000 people at Connaught Place. Diplomats and bureaucrats are expected to land at Lodhi Garden or Nehru Place to stretch up their bodies.

NDMC is coordinating with various organizations like Art of Living, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Morarji Desai National Institute of  Yoga, and Raahgiri Group to ensure that a large number of people turn up for the event.

‘Yogascittavrttinirodhah’ (Yoga is the suppression of the modification of the mind), wrote sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra. It is believed that a new born baby starts his life with a yoga posture and it brings discipline in his life.

India has a very rich and profound cultural heritage. The ancient tradition has gifted us many invaluable things and Yoga is one of these. Yoga is not only a physical posture; it is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that brings discipline to one’s life.

Victor Dasgupta/JPN

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