Declaration of an International Day for Yoga
June 21 was declared as “International Yoga Day” on December 11, 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice or discipline that originated in India before about 5000 years.
June 21 was suggested as the International Day of Yoga by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014. The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. It is the middle day of the Summer Solstice and Mr. Modi said that the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
Astronomical, Mythological and Historical Background
From the perspective of yoga, the Summer Solstice marks the transition to Dakshinayana. The first full moon after Summer Solstice is known as Guru Poornima. According to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Lord Shiva, the first yoga practitioner (Adi Yogi) is said to have begun imparting the knowledge of yoga to the rest of mankind on this day and became the first guru (Adi Guru). Dakshinayana is also considered a time when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices.
According to Jagat Guru Amrta Suryananda, the idea of observing World Yoga Day originated 10 years ago but this was the first time yoga gurus from India were endorsing it in large numbers. On that day, under the leadership of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a proclamation was signed for having UN and UNESCO declare June 21 as World Yoga Day.
World Records Made on Day
About 35,985 people, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a large number of dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 Yoga Asanas (postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath “Yoga Path” in New Delhi on occasion of the 1st International Day Of Yoga observed world over on June 21, 2015. The day devoted to Yoga was observed by millions across the world.
The event at Rajpath established two Guinness world records awarded to ‘Ministry of Ayush’ received by Ayush Minister Shripad Yesso Naik.
- The record for largest yoga class – 35,985 people
- The record for most nationalities participating in a single yoga event – 84