Written By- Bhavana Bhardwaj
Countries all over the world are struggling with deadly coronavirus. Due to this, people incarcerated in homes have been encircled by loneliness, stress, mental depression, sadness, fatigue and with other mental and physical problems. For those people, ‘Yoga’ can become a new support for living life.
It is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind that brings together body, mind and spirit into a harmonious whole. It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduces stress.
Every year, 21 June is observed as International Yoga Day to raise awareness worldwide about the benefits of Yoga in daily life. It comes with a different theme every year. The theme of this year’s will be ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’. While addressing the nation on World Yoga Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that this is the day of unity as yoga binds everyone. It does not discriminate. It is above the race, color, gender, faith and nations. He said due to the coronavirus pandemic, the world is feeling the need for Yoga more than ever and has appealed to citizens to mark the occasion by following social distancing norms and avoid mass gatherings.
“If our immunity is strong, it is of great help in defeating this disease”. Yoga is helping us in the fight against this pandemic. The pranayamas help us in building immunity and resolving respiratory illness. COVID-19 specifically attacks our respiratory system which gets strengthened on doing ‘Pranayama’ or breathing exercise, Modi said. “Yoga enhances our quest for a healthier planet. It has emerged as a force for unity and deepens the bonds of humanity. It does not discriminate, goes beyond race, color, gender, faith and nations. Anyone can embrace Yoga,” the prime minister said.
He ended the address with the Sanskrit verse: “Lokah Samastah sukhino bhavantu” which means may all being be happy and free.
International Yoga Day 2020: History
The idea to observed June 21 as Yoga Day was first proposed by the Prime Minister during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014. On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced that June 21 will be seen as International Yoga Day.
Since 2015, International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 worldwide.
The Ministry of AYUSH successfully organized first International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2015 at the Rajpath, New Delhi. Narendra Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations participated in the celebrations and performed 21 yoga asanas.
International Yoga Day: Theme of every year
The Theme of International Yoga Day 2019 was “Yoga for Heart”.
The Theme of International Yoga Day 2018 was “Yoga for Peace”.
The Theme of International Yoga Day 2017 was “Yoga for Health”.
The Theme of International Yoga Day 2016 was “Connect the Youth”.
The Theme of International Yoga Day 2015 was “Yoga for Harmony and Peace”.
Since five years, International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually. International Yoga Day is also known as World Yoga Day.