International Day of Yoga (IDY), is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. The idea of International Day of Yoga was formally proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 27 September 2014. He stated;
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; 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 wellbeing. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”
–Shri Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly
Significance of 21st June: June 21 was selected as the day to commemorate the 5,000 year old practice because, scientifically, June 21 is the day of the Summer Solstice. It is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.
The summer solstice is also considered an important day in Indian mythology. Lord Shiva, also known as the Adi Guru or the first teacher of Yoga is considered to have started teaching the ways of Yoga to his disciples; an event that could be considered as the start of Yogic science.
- Yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculoskeletal functioning and cardio-vascular health.
- It is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many other lifestyle related disorders.
- It helps to reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and stress
- Yoga helps to regulate menstrual and menopausal symptoms etc
The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The day is dedicated to inner and outer well-being of human body and people across the world practice Yoga in groups.