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Last Updated : Jun 21, 2020 08:08 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

International Yoga Day 2020: When and why it was first celebrated, and the theme this year

PM Modi proposed that June 21 be picked for celebrating International Yoga Day because it marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere – the longest day of the year – which is considered auspicious in many cultures.

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The International Yoga Day has been celebrated every year on June 21 since 2015. It was in 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address in the United Nations General Assembly, had proposed that a day to practice and celebrate yoga must be globally recognised.

He had said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; 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 in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

PM Modi proposed that June 21 be picked for celebrating International Yoga Day because it marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere – the longest day of the year – which is considered auspicious in many cultures.

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The first-ever Yoga Day saw the participation of nearly 36,000 people, including PM Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations, perform 21 asanas for 35 minutes at Delhi’s Rajpath. The arrangements for the same were made by the AYUSH Ministry. The event created two records: one, for the largest yoga class; and two, for the highest number of countries to have participated.

2020 will mark the sixth edition of the International yoga Day. In view of the coronavirus pandemic and consequent restrictions on movement and public gathering, the theme for this year has been decided as – ‘Yoga at home, yoga with family’.

In a statement, the Ayush Ministry said, “Due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, no mass gathering would be advisable this year. Hence, this year the ministry is encouraging people to practice yoga at their homes, with participation from the entire family.”

Days before International Yoga Day 2020, PM Modi had invited citizens to participate in a video-blogging competition called ‘My Life My Yoga’. The initiative was taken by the AYUSH Ministry and Indian Council for Cultural Relations to encourage people to stay fit and active during the coronavirus-driven lockdown.

Many celebrities including Milind Soman, Akshay Kumar, and others have posted their videos in response.
First Published on Jun 21, 2020 05:57 am
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