When United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 21st June as International Yoga Day, it sent a message loud and clear that a step has been taken towards prioritising better physical and mental health as well as ensuring the holistic development of each and every individual that forms the part of the global family.
Yoga has been embraced by individuals and societies, alike, and united them as they have embraced it as a part of their daily lives, so as to maintain a good health. Yoga’s recognition at an international platform, like United Nations, has managed to establish India at an extremely revered platform as Yoga traces its roots all the way back to the country and is considered India’s invaluable gift to the world. By declaring International Yoga Day, UNGA has set an example for all the countries to follow to promote spiritual development of individuals who are stuck in the cyclic routine of everyday lives.
As India sets a proud example by giving this gift to the world, the world unanimously has incorporated the celebrations of International Yoga Day and dedicated this day to the betterment of mental, physical and spiritual health of its people.
Similarly, countries that are part of the global movement of Non-Alignment (NAM) have been at the forefront to carry forth the legacy of one of its founding member’s contribution to the world. NAM countries have paved the way for Yoga Day celebrations to begin, by organising various day-long activities in the countries for people to be encouraged in participating and doing Yoga.
For another founding member of NAM, Indonesia, will celebrate International Yoga Day for 3 days as events have been organised in 5 different parts of the country – Bali, South Sulawesi, East Java, North Sumatra and Yogyakarta. The locations have been decided by the Indian Embassy in Indonesia and they are expecting most enthusiastic participation from young people, for whom indulging in physical exercise is most important as they battle with lifestyle changes that tend to take a quick toll on the health.
Indonesia has promoted yoga as a way to increase tourism, by incorporating ayurvedic spas and yoga sessions in its daily, routine activities as well. Yoga celebrations are, also, in full swing in Singapore as High Commission of India in Singapore takes a more unique approach to celebrating yoga by organising 180 smaller and more intimate sessions across the island over 11 days with the aim of bringing yoga into the heartlands, the communities and homes of Singaporeans, so that they can inculcate this habit that allows them to enjoy the benefits of yoga on a daily basis.
In the effort of increasing awareness on Yoga as well as strengthening relations with India, Vietnam will organise events on the occasion of International Yoga Day with the help of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Hanoi’s People Committee, in Hanoi, which will feature a mass yoga performance by more than 800 yoga lovers and encourage people to participate with equal enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, the Consulate General of India, in Ho Chi Minh City, will arrange a similar celebration on June 29, while simultaneously promoting charitable activities which will be held in 10 other localities on the occasion of Yoga Day.
India’s relations with Yugoslavia have always been of high respect and appreciation as both the countries were founding members of NAM. These relations have only strengthened with Yugoslavia’s successor state, Serbia, coming to existence, and Serbia co-sponsoring India’s resolution, in United Nations, for declaring 21st June as International Yoga Day.
Not only this, Serbia has incorporated Indian culture as a force to reckon with, by introducing a course on cultural history of India at the University of Belgrade as well as establishing AYUSH information cell to disseminate information about ayurveda and traditional medicinal practices, inspired from India as Yoga, Ayurveda and Homeopathy which have been given due recognition by Serbian law.
Such initiatives set an example for the world to highlight the importance of Yoga and to promote the overall well-being of an individual by incorporating such exercises in our daily routines.
In honour of International Yoga Day, 2019, the United Nations headquarters in New York was decorated with lights that projected various Yoga positions to attract attention of the people, as well as to promote this year’s theme of Yoga Day which is “Yoga for Climate Action”. United Nations has also released kits with the theme which were distributed among diplomats who were provided with passes to attend the Yoga celebrations in the UN headquarters at New York.
With the world gearing up to celebrate Yoga Day, it is important to understand that the ultimate motive of Yoga is to discover the sense of connect with oneself, the world and the nature so as to promote the sense of well-being.