International Yoga Day 2021 will be celebrated on Monday, June 21, 2021. Since 2015, International Yoga Day is observed on June 21 to spread awareness among masses about the importance of Yoga and its effects upon human health. This day was designated by the United Nations Organization in 2014 on public demand that occurred on a large scale. International Yoga Day is celebrated in India, the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, China, Australia, and some other countries of South Asia including Pakistan.
Derived from the Sanskrit language the word “Yoga” refers to uniting (with someone) or joining. Ancient Indian sage Patañjali is thought to be the Father of Modern Yoga because he is the person who codified all the aspects of Yoga into a certain format and introduced Yoga Sutras.
International Day of Yoga was declared by the United Nations Generally Assembly in its resolution A/Res/69/131 on December 11, 2014, on the strong appeal of the incumbent Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi that an international day must be designated to highlight the importance and need of yoga in the contemporary era.
International Yoga Day Theme
“Yoga at home and Yoga with Family”
International Yoga Day theme 2020 is “Yoga at home and Yoga with Family”. You know the whole world is going through COVID-19 pandemic and almost every country has imposed lockdown in a certain form. In this situation, it is hard or impossible for people to go outdoor for exercise or yoga even if the lockdown is getting softer in some parts of the world. Even if lockdown gets lighter, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports reveal that Corona Virus won’t spare the world for many years. In this situation, it is risky to go outside and take part in group activities. Social distancing and strong body immune system are the only available cures that we should embrace. International Day of Yoga theme 2020 focuses upon telling people to stay motivated at home and adopt a healthy lifestyle by doing exercise and yoga. People are getting fatter and desperate at home because they feel like caged animals. Exercise helps us to stay optimistic and yoga helps us to explore new ideas to spend time and earn money without going outside. Let’s appreciate the theme 2020 of International Yoga Day and practice yoga at home until this curse of COVID-19 leaves us.
Background and History of International Yoga Day
Yoga is around 6000 years old physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India and stayed famous in many religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism for several thousand years. It kept changing and developing with time and then came the 19th century AD. Western colonizers started taking interest in this practice during the 19th century and started promoting it in Europe. Swami Vivekananda enjoyed remarkable appreciation in the eyes of the West when he traveled to Europe and then the USA as a yoga teacher.
On 27 September 2014, the incumbent Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi was attending the annual congregation of United Nations General Assembly when he insisted upon the global community to acknowledge the importance of Yoga as a precious asset of Indian Civilization and as a blissful practice to improve human health and enrich the human mind with peace. He argued that:
“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 nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”
(Indian PM Narendra Modi, at UNGA)
(27 September 2014)
Thus, the PM Modi clearly demanded the designation of an international day of yoga. The PM also stated that millions of people around the world desire to have such an international day and this is the responsibility of international leaders united at the United Nations platform to respect the emotions of masses. Eventually, informal consultations on the draft resolution were arranged by the United Nations executive committee. That draft resolution was named “International Day of Yoga” and consultations started on 14 October 2014. The delegation of India convened the consultations and finally, the UNGA adopted the resolution A/Res/69/131 on 11 December 2014.
United Nations Resolution on International Day of Yoga
Former Indian diplomat and writer Asoke Mukherji were then Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations when he introduced the draft resolution in the UNGA on December 11, 2014. The draft resolution won the support of 177 Member States and marked history. Eventually, the UNGA adopted the resolution A/Res/69/131 on the same day. The resolution reads the following:
“The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 66/2 of 19 September 2011 on the Political
Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention
and Control of Non-communicable Diseases and 68/98 of 11 December 2013 on
global health and foreign policy, ………..,
Decides to proclaim 21 June the International Day of Yoga, ….”
(UN Resolution# A/Res/69/131)
A global record of the largest yoga class was made on 21 June 2015 (the first International Yoga Day). According to Narendra Modi, the purpose behind designating June 21 for International Yoga Day is that this is the longest day of the year in the mass northern hemisphere. Despite being of Indian origin, Yoga is practised throughout the world in current times and almost all kinds of people like to enjoy what yoga offers. Yoga is no longer a local practice of India rather a universally acknowledged exercise to improve physical cum mental health.
International Yoga Day Celebrations and Activities
International Yoga Day is not a public holiday rather a public awareness day and people take part in awareness activities apart from joining yoga classes. Universities, colleges, schools, and NGOs arrange awareness congregations. The government of India takes a special interest in promoting this day by arranging grand yoga classes.
You can consider the following ideas to celebrate International Yoga Day.
Arrange a Yoga class with your family members because you cannot go outside due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch yoga class videos on YouTube and assess your steps.
Tell your children about yoga and its importance.
Read articles about yoga and share your knowledge with others using Social Media platforms.
Share your favourite quotes about Yoga.
Share your experience of yoga practice with friends and followers on Social Media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or whichever app you use.
Follow and promote Social Media trends like: #InternationalYogaDay, #InternationalDayOfYoga2020, #Yoga, #YogaClass, #YogaBenefits, #YogaInIndia, #YogaInAustralia, #YogaInUSA, #YogaInEngland, #YogaBecomesInternational etc.
International Yoga Day Quotes
Quotes are useful to fell in love with something and they also help to promote that thing. A few quotes are given below that can inspire you about Yoga:
i. “You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” (Sharon Gannon)
ii. “A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people o pose for themselves.” (Terri Guillemets)
iii. “Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.” (B.K.S. Iyengar)
iv. “Before you’ve practised, the theory is useless. After you’ve practised, the theory is obvious.” – (David Williams)
v. “Yoga is really trying to liberate us from… shame about our bodies. To love your body is a very important thing – I think the health of your mind depends on your being able to love your body.” – (Rodney Yee)