explained-why-international-yoga-day-is-observed-on-june-21

Context: Coinciding with the summer solstice, June 21 is observed as International Yoga Day. The year 2020 marks the 6th International Yoga Day.

About IYD

  • The UN proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga by passing a resolution on December 11, 2014, during the 69th session of the General Assembly on a proposal by Indian Prime Minister. June 21 also marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The United Nations theme for this year is “Yoga for Health - Yoga at Home”, which takes into account the social distancing measures announced by most countries.
  • IYD serves as an instrument of India's soft power which spreads Indian values and culture in the world.
  • The 45-minute Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) has been at the heart of the IDY since the beginning. 

Common Yoga protocol: In its ‘Common Yoga Protocol’ from 2019, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) lists Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, Bandhas and Mudras, Satkarmas, Yuktahara, Mantra-japa, Yukta-karma among popular yoga ‘sadhanas’.

  • It includes safe practices to improve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of the population, which can be practiced at home on a daily basis. 

Yoga Day Logo

  • The folding-hands logo of Yoga Day reflects “the union of individual consciousness with that of universal consciousness.
  • The brown leaves in the logo symbolize the earth element, the green leaves of nature, blue the fire element while the sun symbolises the source of energy and inspiration.

About Yoga

  • Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness,” as per the United Nations website.

Benefits: According to its famous practitioner BKS Iyengar, “Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.

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