International Yoga Day

The 1st International Day of Yoga will be celebrated worldwide on 21st June 2015.

June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014 through a popular vote with backing of over 175 countries.

Yoga, a 6,000+-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice having its origin in India, aims to transform body and mind. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated:

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; 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 us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

Narendra Modi further stated that “Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being.”

In suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Narendra Modi had said that the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

From the perspective of yoga, the Summer Solstice marks the transition to Dakshinayana. The first full moon after Summer Solstice is known as Guru Poornima. According to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, in the yogic lore, the first transmission of yoga by Shiva, the first Guru, is said to have begun on this day. Dakshinayana is also considered a time when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices.