INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY - JUNE 2021
Updated: Jun 22
Yoga transcends class, caste, and status. Yoga unites, yoga makes the mind and body happy and healthy. People from all walks of life can practice yoga and increasingly yoga is emerging as the most friendly and trusted way to keep fit. The UN General Assembly in 2014 overwhelmingly adopted a draft resolution, declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day. A record 177 countries supported the resolution. Yoga is said to have originated thousands of years ago in India. The word 'Yoga' was mentioned in ancient Indian texts like the Rig Veda, the earliest among the Vedas. According to scholars, sages of the Vedic times documented their practices in the Upanishads, which contain extremely valuable core teachings of Indian philosophy.
The day will be marked at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend the lives and livelihoods of people globally. Beyond its immediate impact on physical health, the COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated psychological suffering and mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, as pandemic-related restrictions continue in various forms in many countries. This has highlighted the urgent need to address the mental health dimension of the pandemic and the physical health aspects.
The message of Yoga in promoting both the physical and mental well-being of humanity has never been more relevant. A growing trend of people around the world embracing Yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated and to fight social isolation and depression has been witnessed 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.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or unite, symbolizing body and consciousness. The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states.
The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, in which he said:
“Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action a holistic approach valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”
International Yoga Day is a relatively new holiday, so there aren’t any time-honored traditions. But yoga itself is an ancient art that refreshes the mind and soothes the soul. The day aims to encourage new people to adopt the yogic lifestyle and align with their inner chakra.