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Jun 21, 2023

International Yoga Day observed today

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FA News Desk
International Yoga Day celebration at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday June 21.
International Yoga Day celebration at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday June 21.

The International Yoga Day was celebrated by organizing different public awareness-creating programs on June 21 around the world including in the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated across the world annually on June 21 since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.

The International Yoga Day has been observed across the globe since 21 June 2016.

In ancient times mental peace and stability and health were achieved through yoga, meditation and Ayurveda.

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice which originated in ancient India. It began as a spiritual practice but has become popular as a way of promoting physical and mental well-being. Although classical yoga also includes other elements, yoga as practiced in the United States typically emphasizes physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana).

A daily yoga practice has many great benefits! It helps keep us grounded, centered, balanced, flexible, strong, calm, clear-headed, focused, relaxed, happy, healthy, and free from stress and anxiety.

The International Yoga Day was celebrated by organizing different public awareness-creating programs on June 21 every year.

The International Yoga Day is also being observed in Nepal by organizing several programs today.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said Nepal could be a prime destination for worldwide researchers to carry out Yoga related studies.

In his address to a main function of the International Yoga Day-2080 organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology today, PM Dahal said Yoga was a priceless treasure of Nepal and the Yogmaya Ayurveda University that was envisaged for natural environmental cause should take an academic lead in the area as a credible educational space.

It may be noted that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the 69th UNGA, had put forth a proposal calling for the declaration of June 21 as the International Yoga Day arguing Yoga was necessary for all people all time.

The UN had endorsed the proposal draft resolution establishing the International Yoga Day was endorsed by 177 countries.

Likewise, CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli has expressed worry over Yog vanishing from Nepal.

Yoga is helpful to advance Nepal, he argued. Addressing a program organized on the occasion of International Yoga Day at the party office today, Chair Oli underscored the need to raise public awareness for restoring Yog in the country.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed yoga into a hugely potent tool for public diplomacy. He also led a unique yoga session in a historic celebration to commemorate the 9th International Day of Yoga at the UN Headquarters in New York Jun 21 Wednesday in the US.

Graced by delegates from over 180 nations. Notably, an estimated 250 million individuals are anticipated to participate in the event, centred around the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ meaning One Earth. One Future. One Family.

According to a PTI report, America is the largest yoga-practising nation outside India. More than 36 million people (around 12 per cent of the population) practice Yoga in the US, according to a 2019 Yoga Journal survey.

There was a staggering 50 per cent growth in yoga practitioners since 2012 when only 20 million were in the fold.

Approximately one in three Americans has tried yoga at least once, with the number of over 50s practising yoga tripling over the last four years, according to the survey.

With a checkerboard of made-in-India yoga mats covering the U.N.’s spacious north lawn, Modi stopped and bowed at a statue of the assassinated Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi before saying in brief remarks that yoga was an all-ages, portable practice accessible to all faiths and cultures.

“It is a very old tradition, but like all ancient Indian traditions, it is also living and dynamic,” Modi said. “Yoga is truly universal.”

While yoga is a means to physical fitness, mental calm and emotional contentment, “it is not just about doing exercise on a mat. Yoga is a way of life,” said the year-old leader of the world’s most populous nation.

For Modi, who arrived Tuesday in New York on an official Visit USA has made yoga a personal practice and a diplomatic tool.

72-year-old Modi participated in breathing exercises, meditation, backbends and other poses — from palm tree to diamond, hare to half-camel, crocodile to stretched-up frog.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Csaba Korosi, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Mayor of New York City Eric Adams, actor Richard Gere, singer-actor Mary Millben, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj greeted and addressed an event on the 9th edition of International Day of Yoga.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who is at a conference in Paris, sent in a video greeting.

UNGA President Korosi weighed in on the importance of Yoga, saying, “Yoga changes our physical performance but it can spark in us different mental and intellectual performance. I have been an admirer of Yoga. Our world needs balance and self-control. Yoga is one of the means of achieving this.”

New York Mayor Eric Adams also expressed his pride at being a part of the event, saying, “This International Yoga Day is a call for us to stand up for humankind across the globe and all living beings. I am proud to be here and I am proud to represent this city symbolically. International Yoga Day is an international call that we will be a leader here in New York City as you are a leader in your own environments…”

The shouts of demonstrators across the street could be heard during the meditative utterances of “Om.”

First practiced by Hindu sages, yoga has become one of India’s most popular cultural exports. Modi has energetically promoted it as a feel-good way of stretching the country’s influence abroad. Today, India has surpassed China to claim the world’s largest population, at 1.425 billion, and it is the world’s biggest democracy.