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International Day of Yoga 2022: Date, history, significance, theme set by UN

International Day of Yoga 2022: Date, history, significance, theme set by UN

Ahead of International Day of Yoga 2022, the United Nations reflected, “People around the world embraced yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated and to fight social isolation and depression 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.”

It stated, “The essence of yoga is balance – not just balance within the body or that between the mind and the body, but also balance in the human relationship with the world. Yoga emphasises the values of mindfulness, moderation, discipline and perseverance. When applied to communities and societies, Yoga offers a path for sustainable living.”

Date:

International Day of Yoga is celebrated with much fervour, every year, on June 21.

History and significance:

The idea for a UN-mandated International Day of Yoga was first proposed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2014. In his speech, PM Modi called Yoga an “invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition” and called for the “harmony between man and nature” through Yoga. In the September 27, 2014 address, PM Modi said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

This initiative was backed by as many as 177 nations, the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such nature. Following Prime Minister Modi’s proposal since June 21, 2015, the International Day of Yoga has been an annual, global celebration. June 21 was marked as the date to celebrate International Yoga Day since it marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, which holds special significance in many parts of the world. 

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For the first-ever Yoga Day, the arrangements were made by the AYUSH Ministry, and around 35,985 people, including PM Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 asanas for 35 minutes at New Delhi’s Rajpath. The first ever International Day of Yoga created two records, one for the largest yoga class and the other for the highest number of nationalities to have participated.

Theme:

According to the UN, Yoga can be an important instrument in the collective quest of humanity for promoting sustainable lifestyle in harmony with planet Earth. In keeping with this spirit, the theme for this year’s Yoga Day celebrations is “Yoga for Humanity.”

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