International Yoga Day
Every year on June 21, International Yoga Day is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness about the numerous benefits of yoga and promote its holistic approach to physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. In 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead a yoga session for the first time at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 9th International Day of Yoga.
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International Yoga Day 2023
The Union Ministry of Ayush has announced that International Yoga Day celebrations will take place at 26 prominent locations across Delhi on June 21 in India. These sites include prominent locations such as Kartavya Path, Red Fort, Connaught Place Central Park, Commonwealth Games Complex, and major green spaces like Nehru Park, Lodhi Garden, and Coronation Park.
The theme of International Yoga Day 2023
The theme for this year’s International Day of Yoga is ‘Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.’ This theme highlights the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means “the world is one family.” It emphasizes the unity and interconnectedness of all beings, promoting harmony and peace through the practice of yoga.
What is Yoga?
Yoga, derived from Sanskrit, means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. It has gained tremendous popularity worldwide due to its ability to enhance flexibility, strength, balance, and overall fitness. Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2014. During the 69th session of the General Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the proposal for the International Day of Yoga. He described yoga as an invaluable gift from the ancient tradition, embodying the unity of mind and body and offering a holistic approach to health and well-being.
Yoga extends beyond being a mere exercise; it serves as a path to explore the unity and interconnectedness of oneself, the world, and nature. It encourages individuals to make healthier choices and follow lifestyle patterns that foster good health. The World Health Organization has also urged its member states to help their citizens reduce physical inactivity, which is among the leading causes of death worldwide and a risk factor for non-communicable diseases.
Yoga Industry in India
Within the yoga industry, various sub-sectors exist, including yoga studios, the apparel market, equipment sales, and wellness tourism. Online classes have gained significant popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Health & Wellness Centers in India have successfully implemented over 16 million wellness sessions, including yoga.
The Indian government has taken several initiatives to promote yoga. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting introduced the Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman in 2019, which appreciates and acknowledges the role of media in spreading awareness about yoga. The Ministry of Ayush aims to ensure widespread access to the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP), a 45-minute program of suitable Yogasana practices designed by experts. The CYP incorporates various techniques based on scientific knowledge and has gained acceptance as a preferred format for daily yoga practice.
Yoga offers a holistic approach to improving overall health and promoting relaxation. Through physical postures (asanas) and breathing exercises, it enhances strength, flexibility, and mental tranquility. It has proven beneficial in reducing blood pressure, improving digestion, enhancing sleep, boosting the immune system, assisting with weight management, and cultivating a positive mental state. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, yoga has emerged as a valuable tool for promoting health and well-being worldwide.
As we celebrate International Yoga Day, it is essential to recognize the influential role of yoga in fostering physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Its universal appeal continues to grow, and its practice offers a pathway to harmonize oneself with the world and achieve a state of balance and inner peace.
In conclusion, International Yoga Day 2023 holds great significance in promoting the practice of yoga and its multitude of benefits for individuals worldwide. The theme of ‘Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ emphasizes the unity and interconnectedness of all beings, fostering harmony and peace. Yoga goes beyond being a mere physical exercise; it is a means to discover a sense of oneness with oneself, the world, and nature. The Indian government’s initiatives, such as the Ayushman Bharat scheme and the Ministry of Ayush’s efforts to ensure widespread access to the Common Yoga Protocol, have played a crucial role in promoting yoga and its incorporation into people’s daily lives. The yoga industry, including various sub-sectors and the growing popularity of online classes, continues to contribute to the global reach of yoga. Moreover, the health benefits of yoga, both physical and mental, have been widely recognized, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we celebrate International Yoga Day, let us acknowledge the transformative power of yoga and embrace its practice for a healthier, balanced, and peaceful life.
Click here to learn more about The History of Yoga and it’s current status in the World