21 June: International Yoga Day
International Yoga Day was celebrated world-wide on 21 June 2017. The day is being celebrated with the theme "Yoga for Health".
The year’s theme highlights the fact that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieve an equilibrium between mind and body. The organizers believe that this approach to health and wellbeing can make a direct and useful contribution to humankind's quest to achieve sustainable development and move towards lifestyles that are in harmony with nature.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
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 International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
Prime Minster Narendra Modi, on whose appeal the day was adopted by the United Nations as an International Day, has appealed people to make Yoga a part of their lives. The Prime Minister proposed a day for Yoga in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly.
Addressing the gathering at Ramabai Ambedkar Ground in Lucknow, where the main event of Yoga Day celebrations was held on 21 June morning, Modi said, Yoga has been a part of Indian tradition and it integrates the people.
He said, yoga has become a part of so many lives and its popularity outside the country is very much high and it has also connected the world with India.
The Prime Minister said, wellness is important in addition to fitness and Yoga is a medium to achieve wellness. He said small practices of yoga improve the quality of life.
He said a very small use of salt makes the food tasty similarly small practices of Yoga helps a person to keep him healthy and away from diseases.
After concluding his speech, the Prime Minister joined the participants in performing various postures of Yoga. He performed Yoga postures at Ramabai Ambedkar Ground sitting with more than 55000 people. He also encouraged the youths particularly girls who were present at ground ignoring bad weather and rains.
More about the day’s celebration
The day was celebrated from New Delhi to New York and Paris to Panama in more than 5000 locations across 180 countries.
In United Arab Emirates (UAE) more than 15000 people participated in the celebration of the Yoga Day. Programmes were held simultaneously at the iconic Burj Khalifa Park, Zabeel Park and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre complex in Dubai.
In Bangladesh, the main programme, which was conducted by the Indian High Commission at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, saw participation of over 3000 people.
Besides, on 20 June 2017, yoga enthusiasts performed 'asanas' at iconic landmarks including China's Great Wall and Britain's London Eye. Over 1200 yoga enthusiasts in South Africa's Soweto Township on 21 June 2017 got their first taste of yoga when they performed various 'asanas' at an event on the eve of International Day of Yoga.
The Consulate General of India in Johannesburg along with the volunteers of the Art of Living Foundation and yoga school trainers organised the event at a park in the township. The participants included hundreds of school children who got their first taste of yoga.
When: 21 June 2017
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