It is a day of reckoning for the Indian-origin breath exercise Yoga. After careful deliberation, the Indian government could convince the international body United Nations to celebrate the beautiful yogic exercise to establish a state of sound health in people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, the state of sound health can be achieved only when there is a constructive balance between body and mind. The premises of yoga begin from there. Through a series of breathing and physical exercise, it brings harmony between the mind and the body. It does not matter whether a yogi is from a different faith or not. What matters is how these exercises are done by that person.
Ever since the beginning of the 1980s, people from India have taken the principles of yoga to different countries and demonstrated to people living there. Over 30+ years, there has been a steady growth in the number of people who practice yoga at home and in the workplace. Many masters of this primordial exercise have customized the principles of yoga to meet the requirements of people in different countries. While transforming the basic tenets of yoga exercise to meet the needs of the customers, these masters have kept the cultural sensitivities in mind. These masters have been hugely responsible for the growing popularity of this exercise that aims to restore the healthy balance between body and mind. Other countries of the world have slowly begun to acknowledge the positive effects of body-mind exercise. Even the most conservative countries from the Gulf region have begun to embrace the body-mind exercise to reap its health benefits. This is especially true of countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Designation of International Yoga Day
Immediately after coming to power, the Indian government under the leadership of Narendra Modi took steps to elicit the views of other countries about Yoga. Over 3 months, the government took the feedback about the popularity of this ancient exercise. Armed with the huge volume of data, Narendra Modi addressed the United Nations General Assembly and requested the world countries to support the Indian government’s initiative to spread the message of yoga as an exercise to more countries. He told that the more than 6000-year-old Indian body-mind exercise can be used as a holistic medicine in a stricter sense. He showed the member countries the statistics of the positive change this exercise brings in the lives of people after adopting it. The member countries hurdled over it and gave their nod for designating a day for Yoga internationally. Henceforth, the world body ratified an agreement to designate June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
First International Yoga Day
On June 21, 2015, India joined the growing number of world countries to take an oath to further the cause of yoga for the establishment of a world where there are lesser health issues. On that day, the Government of India unraveled a website dedicated to the cause of yoga. It is maintained by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. On this day, various yoga instructors world over conduct classes, seminars, and practical sessions on a yearly basis for the benefit of the general public. This is done free of cost so that people get a glimpse of yoga. In India, people are organizing a large yoga exercise on a grand scale so that people from all walks of life can drop in and participate in it. The followers of Ram Dev also organize big events to conduct yoga exercises for the benefit of people on this day every year. Other spiritual gurus also do their part on this day to spread the awareness of yoga in our country.