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International Yoga Day 2019: The ancient Indian practice that enriches quality of life

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New Delhi, June 20: International Day of Yoga is being observed across the world on June 21 since 2015 after the the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) accepted India's proposal to dedicate a day this ancient Indian form of exercise. On December 11, 2014, the UNGA declared June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga'.

It was on September 27, 2014, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of International Day of Yoga during his speech. A total of 177 nations backed PM Modi's proposal and in the December same year, the United Nations adopted a resolution without a vote.

Gurukul students perform Yoga ahead of the the 5th International Day of Yoga 2019, at Swaminarayan Gurukul, in Surat (PTI image)

The first International Day of Yoga celebrations was observed around the world on June 21, 2015, during which PM Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations performed 21 asanas at a grand event at Rajpath.

This year, Jharkhand's capital Ranchi would be the venue for the main event for International Yoga Day on June 21 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attended it. The event will be held at the Prabhat Tara ground and around 30,000 people are expected to participate in it. Yoga Day 2019's theme is "Yoga for the heart".

Ranchi is all decked up to welcome the Prime Minister and all the arrangements, including tight security, are in place at the Prabhat Tara ground. The Special Protection Group (SPG) has been entrusted with the the security at the main event on this day. Around 4,000 security personnel of the state and para-military forces would be deployed.

Ranchi to host main event on Yoga Day, Javadekar confirms

In Delhi, the main event will be at Rajpath and it will be organised by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in association with the ministry. Programmes will also be held at Red Fort, Nehru Park, Lodhi Garden, Talkatora Garden, Yamuna Sports Complex, Swarna Jayanti Park - Rohini and Dwarka Sector- 11 in the national capital.

In Gujarat, over 1.50 crore people will participate in the International Yoga Day events to be held at 50,000 different locations across the state today.

The origin of Yoga:

Yoga is not just the exercise of the body, but an ancient Indian practice which focuses on the well-being of mind, body and soul. The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions. In India, it is being practised for thousands of years, but became popular as a system of exercise across the Western world only in the 20th Century.

The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Some state yoga originated in the Indus Valley Civilization. he first use of the root of the word "yoga" is in hymn 5.81.1 of the Rig Veda, a dedication to the rising Sun-god in the morning.

Irrespective of when or how it originated, the world has now accepted it as a practice that has many benefits. Yoga is now practiced by health enthusiasts across the world and has gained wide acceptance as a routine which enriches the quality of life.

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