Yoga is a practice, that originated in ancient India, to keep one mentally, physically, and spiritually disciplined. It comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means “union, to unite or to connect. Yoga unites our mind, body, and soul.
As per the sacred Hindu text Rigveda, Yoga is a practice that is dedicated to the rising Sun. Ancient Hindu scholar and Sanskrit philosopher Panini wrote that the word Yoga can be derived from the terms- Yujir Yoga and Yuj Samadhau, which means to yoke and to concentrate.
Maharshi Vedvyasa, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, defines the word Yoga as Samadhi, which means concentration. The regular practice of Yoga can change your way of thinking and help in reducing stress and anxiety.
The Inception of International Yoga Day
On September 27, 2014, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the importance of Yoga and stated that Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, and harmony between man and nature.
He further asserted that Yoga is not only about physical exercise but also about discovering the sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature. He also suggested the date of 21 June for celebrating International Yoga Day, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.
While working continue for the purpose, on December 11, 2014, India’s permanent representative Ashok Mukherji introduced a draft resolution into UNGA that was co-sponsored by a total of 177 nations, which was the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of this nature.
Hence, the first International Day of Yoga was celebrated on 21st May 2015 and since then it is being celebrated on the same day annually. On the same day in 2015, nearly 36,000 people, including Prime Minister Modi and many high-profile political figures from 84 nations around the globe, performed 21 Yoga Postures, called Asanas for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi.
International Yoga Day 2023 Significance
Yoga has a lot of importance in today’s world as it has many benefits to both physical and mental health. During the pandemic when people were tense and restrained to go outside their houses, it was Yoga that helps people from depression, overthinking, negativity, and all these things and provide them with physical and mental well-being.
Along with providing relaxation both physically and mentally, Yoga developed strength and resilience and gives us positivity. While Western countries considered it the best practice to fit in every aspect, there is a religious importance of Yoga for Hindus.
As per Hinduism, Lord Siva is the originator of Yoga and that is why he is called Adiyogi, which means the First Yogi. Summer Solstice is considered to be very crucial in the Yogic culture, and is believed to be the very beginning of Yoga.
Yoga was brought up to the world by Saptarishis- the seven saints story which states that Lord Shiva was sitting in blissful meditation for years, many people come out to him out of curiosity but ended up going back the lord never paid attention to anyone.
But the Saptarishis didn’t go back and instead stayed there because they were so dedicated to learning Yoga from Shiva that they sat still for 84 years there. One day Shiva took notice of the seven beings and he could no longer ignore them and 28 days later, on the next full moon, Shiva turned into the Adiguru and teaches the Science of Yoga to the Saptarishis.
International Day of Yoga Theme 2023
Every year International Day of Yoga comes with a theme, which tells what is going to be the topic of main focus that year. The theme for International Day of Yoga 2023 is “Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which captures the shared aspiration of “One Earth, One Family, and One Future” of India.
FAQs related to International Day of Yoga 2023
A. Internation Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21.
A. The theme for International Day of Yoga 2023 is Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
A. This year Prime Minister Modi will lead the global celebration of yoga from the United Nations headquarters in New York.
A. The first edition of the International Day of Yoga was celebrated on June 21, 2015.