International Yoga Day was first celebrated all over the world on 21 June 2015. On that day, millions of people did yoga for 1 hour at the same time. People did different types of yoga at the same time to show the world’s unity through yoga. International Yoga Day got its recognition from United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from11 December 2014. The Ministry of AYUSH made the necessary arrangements in India to organize a massive yoga session with 35,985 people, including India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A large number of dignitaries from 84 Nations performed 21 yoga asanas (postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi. The day devoted to yoga was observed by millions across the world.
NCC cadets entered their name in Limca Book of Records for the “Largest Yoga performance simultaneously by a single uniformed youth organization” by performing at multiple venues.
The year 2016 will be the 2nd year of International Yoga Day. Already a number of countries are preparing to participate in it.
What Yoga really is?
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline that originated in India almost 5000 years ago. Yoga is not just a mere set of exercises and poses, it is also the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature around. It teaches to control human mind, body, thoughts and actions; harmonizing between man and nature. Therefore, it is considered as a holistic approach to good health and well-being.
The importance of 21 June as International Yoga Day
21 June has been selected to be celebrated as the International Yoga Day because it is believed that on this day, the first yogi or the Adiyogi turned towards south and looked at the Seven Sages known as the ‘Saptarishis’. The Saptarishis were his first disciples who contributed in spreading the science of Yoga in various parts of the world. Therefore this day holds much importance in the history of humanity.
Also 21 June is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and has special significance in many parts of the world. From the perspective of yoga, the summer solstice marks the transition to Dakshinayana. Dakshinayana is also considered a time when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices. The first full moon after summer solstice is known as Guru Poornima and is considered as a sacred day according to Indian calendar, also known as Vikram Samvat.
2016 International Yoga Day
21 June 2016 will be marked as 2nd International Yoga Day and more than 175 countries are preparing to celebrate it together at one time, i.e. from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. in the morning. Many countries will be holding yoga festivals and yoga camps on the same day.
In India, the ministry of AYUSH released a letter to all government departments stating that “the government of India has decided to carry the momentum forward that was created by International Day of Yoga, 2015; with greater and more active participation of youth during 2016 celebrations.” The ministry will organize an event titled “The National Event of Mass Yoga Demonstration” at Chandigarh. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also participate in it.