- Yoga is said to have originated thousands of years ago in India
- This year marks the 7th edition of International Yoga Day on June 21
- UN General Assembly in 2014 assigned June 21 as International Yoga Day
New Delhi: International Yoga Day is observed every year on June 21 to raise awareness about this ancient practice and to celebrate the physical and spiritual prowess that yoga has brought to the world. According to the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice. It said that yoga plays an important role in relaxing the mind and body and boosting people’s immune system. Yoga has been around for ages and has garnered popularity across the world over the years, said the ministry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when working remotely has become the new normal, Yoga also encourages people to remain active and have a more balanced state of mind. Into its 7th edition this year, here is all you need to know about International Yoga Day.
International Yoga Day: History
The concept of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Prime Minister Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on September 27, 2014. The UNGA on December 11, 2014, adopted a draft resolution, declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day which was supported by about 177 countries. Next year, on June 21, 2015, the world celebrated the first International Yoga Day.
Yoga For Well-Being: International Yoga Day 2021 Theme
According to the United Nations, the theme for International Yoga Day 2021 is ‘Yoga for Well-Being’ and how the practice of Yoga can promote the holistic health of every individual. It further elaborates on how the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge psychological impact along with the fallouts on the physical health front. “The message of Yoga in promoting both the physical and mental well-being of humanity has never been more relevant,” read the official note on International Day of Yoga.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has mentioned Yoga as a means to improve health in its Global Action Plan for physical activity 2018-30. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) says children can practice many yoga poses without any risk and get the same benefits that adults do. These benefits include increased flexibility and fitness, mindfulness and relaxations.
Yoga Day: Celebrations And Activities
This year’s Yoga Day celebration will consist of individuals participating in large numbers in the event for the demonstration of yoga at 7 am that is being organised by the Ministry of Ayush. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the event at 6:30 am. The event will also include an address by the Minister of State for Ayush Kiren Rijiju and a live yoga demonstration by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, according to a government release.
In order to encourage people to adopt Yoga and stay healthy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the UN and the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India will be conducting a series of virtual events like “Yoga and Me” photography contest, jingle composing competition, discussions, quizzes, among others.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.