21 June: International Yoga Day
The 4th International yoga day was celebrated across the world on June 21, 2018. The day’s celebrations in India were led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dehradun.
The Prime Minister joined thousands of volunteers, performing Yoga asanas in the lawns of Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. Similar Yoga related events were held across the world to mark the occasion.
In fact, ahead of the yoga day, the PM Modi had taken to social media to share the intricacies of various Yoga Asanas. He also shared pictures of people performing Yoga, at various locations across the world.
The Prime Minister had earlier participated in the inaugural Yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016 and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.
Speaking on the significance of Yoga, Prime Minister Modi said, Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keep the body fit. In a world of excess, Yoga promises restraint and balance. In a world suffering from mental stress, Yoga promises calm. In a distracted world, Yoga helps focus. In a world of fear, Yoga promises hope, strength and courage.”
Theme: The theme for the 2018 celebrations of the International Day is 'Yoga for Peace’.
Objective: The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India.
The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and it means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness.
Today, yoga is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.
Why was June 21 selected to mark the International Yoga Day?
June 21 is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed the date for Yoga day in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in 2014.
When was first International Day of Yoga observed?
The first International Day of Yoga was observed all over the world on June 21, 2015. On the occasion, the Prime Minister performed 21 yoga asanas with thousands of people and a large number of dignitaries for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi.
The event at Rajpath established two Guinness world records - one for the largest yoga class, featuring 35,985 people and second for the largest number of participating nationalities (84 nations).
More about the day’s celebration
• Eight events were organised in New Delhi along with the main event at Rajpath. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) organised events at Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park, Talkatora Garden and Rajpath.
• Besides, around 50,000 yoga enthusiasts including women personnel from various Central Armed Police Forces such as BSF, CRPF, CISF participated in a yoga event at Red Fort organised by Brahma Kumaris. Separate yoga functions were also organised in Patanjali Yoga Samiti in Dwarka and Art of Living in Rohini.
• Yoga guru Ramdev conducted a yoga session in Kota, Rajasthan at RC Ground. Many other yoga groups and leaders also conducted group yoga training sessions across India.
• Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel performed yoga in cold desert of Ladakh at an altitude of 18,000 feet.
• Eastern naval command staff also performed yoga on board INS Jyothi in Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam. Eastern Naval Command's submarine staff also participated in the day’s observance.
• World over, the day was celebrated in more than 150 countries, with Indian missions co-ordinating activities in landmark places.
• While in China a yoga event was held at Longfu Temple, in Cambodia, the day’s celebrations took place in front of the iconic Angkor Wat complex. The event was attended by more than 1100 yoga practitioners including students, youth, government functionaries, national and international tourists.
• The proposal to have a day dedicated to Yoga was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly in 2014.
• Modi had pitched, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition and it embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach valuable to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with self, the world and nature."
• Modi had proposed June 21 to be observed as International Yoga Day throughout the world.
• The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states.
• Recognising its universal appeal, on December 11, 2014, the United Nations declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014.