International Yoga Day 2023
Every year on June 21st, people worldwide celebrate International Yoga Day to promote the numerous benefits of practicing yoga. This special day coincides with the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the holistic advantages that yoga offers for our well-being. It emphasizes the importance of finding balance in our fast-paced lives and encourages harmony in our physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Yoga helps us cultivate mindfulness, reduce stress, and enhance our overall health and vitality.
In its 9th edition, this year’s International Day of Yoga will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations Headquarters on June 21st. This is the first time that the Prime Minister will conduct a yoga session at this prestigious location.
International Yoga Day Theme 2023
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, which means “Yoga for One Earth, One Family, One Future”. This theme emphasizes the importance of yoga for promoting global health and well-being, as well as for fostering a sense of unity and community.
What is Yoga?
Yoga, an ancient practice originating in India, encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual elements. The term “yoga” comes from Sanskrit and signifies the union of body and consciousness, symbolizing their harmonious connection.
In today’s world, yoga is practiced in various forms and has gained widespread popularity.
The History of International Yoga Day
The history of International Yoga Day can be traced back to 2014 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of an international day dedicated to yoga during his address to the United Nations General Assembly. He described yoga as “an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition” and said that it could “contribute to creating a healthier planet.” He emphasized that yoga is not solely about physical exercise but also a means to discover a sense of unity with oneself, the world, and nature.
The proposal was met with widespread support, and on December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/131, which proclaimed June 21 as International Yoga Day. The resolution called on all UN member states to “observe International Yoga Day annually, in order to raise awareness of the many benefits of yoga.”
The first International Yoga Day was celebrated on June 21, 2015, with events taking place in over 190 countries. Since then, International Yoga Day has become an annual event that is celebrated by people all over the world.
Aim of International Day of Yoga
- The International Day of Yoga aims to create global awareness about the numerous benefits of practicing yoga.
- The resolution acknowledges the significance of individuals and communities making healthier choices and adopting lifestyle patterns that promote good health.
- In line with this, the World Health Organization has urged member states to encourage their citizens to reduce physical inactivity, which is a leading cause of death worldwide and a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular ailments, cancer, and diabetes.
However, yoga encompasses more than just physical activity. As expressed by the late B. K. S. Iyengar, a renowned practitioner, yoga nurtures a balanced mindset in everyday life and enhances skill in the performance of actions.
Significance of International Yoga Day
- International Yoga Day is a way to raise awareness of the many benefits of yoga.
- Yoga is a mind and body practice that has been shown to have a positive impact on physical and mental health.
- It can help to reduce stress, improve flexibility, and increase strength.
- International Yoga Day is a way to promote the practice of yoga around the world.
- Yoga is a universal practice that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
- It is a great way to connect with your body and mind and to improve your overall well-being.
- International Yoga Day is a way to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of India.
- Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago, and it is still an important part of Indian culture today.
- International Yoga Day is a way to honor this tradition and share it with the world.
- International Yoga Day is a way to promote peace and harmony.
- Yoga is a practice that teaches us to focus on the present moment and to let go of stress and negativity.
- It can help us to connect with our inner selves, and to find peace and harmony in our lives.
Flagship Initiatives by the Ministry of Ayush, to maximize Participation in the 9th International Day of Yoga 2023
- 100 Days, 100 Cities, and 100 Organizations: A campaign to promote and disseminate knowledge and practice of Yoga among the people, at the national level, for the improvement of their health and well-being.
- Ocean Ring of Yoga: Yoga demonstrations at many ports, on many ships, and in many friendly countries showcase the transformative power of yoga in fostering global unity and harmonious coexistence.
- Arctic to Antarctica: Yoga demonstrations across a vast geographical range, spanning from the Arctic to Antarctica.
- Yog Bharatmala: Yoga demonstrations at the borders, coasts, and islands by the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, and Border Road Organisation.
- Har Aangan Yog: Yoga demonstrations at the grassroots level by Panchayats, Anganwadis, Asha/ANM workers, and local communities.
- Prime Minister’s Yoga Awards (PMYA): Awards for outstanding contributions towards the promotion and development of Yoga.
- IDY Quiz Contest: Quiz contest on MyGov for public participation.
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