Yoga now on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Dec 2, 2016 10:12 IST

Yoga UNESCO Intangible Cultural HeritageYoga, India’s one of the ancient practices to keep oneself healthy, has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

It was inscribed on the list during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The declaration describing Yoga as a Human Treasure got unanimous support of the 24 members of the Committee.

UNESCO adds Cuban rumba and Belgian beer to list of world’s intangible heritage

With this, Yoga became the 13th intangible cultural heritage that has been listed from India so far with UNESCO. The previous intangible cultural heritage list includes

  • Chhau dance (inscribed in 2010)
  • The Buddhist chanting of Ladakh (inscribed in 2012)
  • Sankirtana - the ritual singing, drumming, and dancing of Manipur (inscribed in 2013)
  • The traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab (inscribed in 2014)
  • Ramlila- the traditional performance of the Ramayana (inscribed in 2008)


  • It is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India.
  • Records suggest that Yoga originated in the pre-Vedic India, it is mentioned in the Rigveda.
  • But it developed around the sixth and fifth Century BC, in ancient India's ascetic and śramaṇa movements.
  • It is practised in different schools of Yoga namely Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
  • It was introduced in the west first by Swami Vivekananda and later in the 1980s by Yoga gurus from India
  • Earlier in 2014, the United Nations declared 21 June as the International Yoga Day.

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