Late last year, the United Nations declared June 21st as International Yoga Day.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea to the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, when talking about climate change and going back to basics. “Yoga is not just about fitness or exercise, it is about changing one’s lifestyle,” Prime Minister Modi says.
The India-led resolution of the International Day of Yoga was co-sponsored by 175 of the 193 members of the United Nations, the highest number ever for any General Assembly resolution.
Yoga is a form of exercise that provides a comprehensive approach to both physical and mental health and wellbeing. With rapidly increasing global popularity it is widely practiced for health and relaxation, however the link between India and the practice of yoga is often understated.
Prime Minister Modi says that “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfilment, harmony between man and nature, a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.”
This Sunday will be the first annual International Day of Yoga, with events being held across the globe to commemorate the occasion.
In India, the birthplace of yoga, an expected 45,000 people will join 64-year-old Prime Minister Modi, participating in a 35-minute routine on the lawns of India Gate.
In Sydney, our largest International Day of Yoga event will be held right here in our backyard, at Bondi Pavillion, from 6:45am until 6pm.
The event will begin at sunrise, with the official opening ceremony, followed by a Salute to the Sun on Bondi Beach. A full day of events will take place inside the Pavillion, and feature a variety of yoga classes, meditation, panel discussions, and cultural activities.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says “yoga can contribute to resilience against non-communicable diseases”. He also says that the ancient practice can “help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress”.
To find out more, visit http://worldyogaday.com.au/