Ahead of International Yoga Day 2022, the United Nations addressed, “People from all over the world embraced yoga for staying healthy and rejuvenated, and to fight social isolation and depression caused during the pandemic. It is also playing an important role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of patients with Covid-19 during the period of quarantine and isolation. It is also helpful in allaying their fears and anxiety.”
The actual essence of yoga signifies balance. Not just the balance between the mind and the body, but also the balance in the human relationship with the world. It emphasizes the values of moderation, mindfulness, discipline, and perseverance. When appealed to communities and societies, Yoga offers a significant path for sustainable living.”
International Yoga Day is celebrated every year, on June 21, and was introduced in the year 2014.
History and significance
The idea for an UN-mandated International Yoga Day was initially proposed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. During his speech, Prime Minister Modi called Yoga an “invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition” that can be used for introducing harmony between man and nature. On September 27, 2014 speech, PM Modi stated that Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, harmony between man and nature, thought and action restraint and fulfillment, and a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not just about exercise but discovering the sense of oneness within yourself, the world, and nature. Changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, Yoga can help in our well-being.
Following the proposal of Prime Minister Modi, International Yoga Day has been an annual, global celebration. June 21 was marked as the date for celebrating the International Day of Yoga since it also marks the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, holding a special significance in several parts of the world.
For the initial year, the arrangements for Yoga Day were made by the AYUSH Ministry, and around 35,985 people, including PM Modi and dignitaries from around 84 nations, performed 21 asanas for 35 minutes at Rajpath, New Delhi. The first-ever International Yoga Day created two records, one for the largest yoga class in the world, and the other for the highest number of nationalities participating in some exercise at the same time.
According to the United Nations, Yoga is an important instrument in the collective quest of humanity for promoting a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the planet Earth. In keeping with this spirit, the theme for Yoga Day for the year 2022 was “Yoga for Humanity.”