International Yoga Day: How Modi made yoga a global spectacle
Yoga has been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years and over the years this ancient practice has spread to many parts of the globe. Yoga is not just a form of exercise that strengthens the body, it is a form of practice that heals mind, body and soul.
It would not be right to give credit to a single person for make yoga popular across the world, as there have been several yogis, such as BKS Iyengar, Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many others, who took this ancient form to masses.
What Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government should be given credit is for their efforts to get yoga recognised by the United Nations. It was after PM Modi's address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014, that UN adopted June 21st as International Day of Yoga.
The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Modi during his speech at the UNGA, on 27 September 2014. In his UNGA speech, Modi said, "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day."
Following this initial proposal, the UNGA held informal consultations on the draft resolution entitled "International Day of Yoga", on 14 October 2014.
On 11 December 2014, India's Permanent Representative Asoke Mukherji introduced the draft resolution in UNGA. The draft text received broad support from 177 Member States who sponsored the text, which was adopted without a vote. This initiative found support from many global leaders. A total of 177 nations co-sponsored the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of such nature.
The first yoga day celebration was held at Raj path and all arrangements were manged by ministry of AYUSH. First yoga day was celebrated on June 21, 2015. All over the world, almost 21 yoga asanas were performed by dignitaries from 84 nations and accompanied by Prime Minister Modi. This celebration owns 2 Guinness World Records. The first record was for being the world's largest yoga class and featured by 35,985 people and the second one was for having maximum number of participating nationalities that is 84.