International Yoga Day

‘Your body exists in the past and your mind exists in the future. In yoga they come together in the present’ – B.K.S Iyengar


What is Yoga?

Taken from the Sanskrit language, Yoga means to unite (with someone) or joining. It has its origins in ancient India and encompasses multiple mental, physical and spiritual practices or disciplines. It includes multiple postures, breathing styles, chants, asanas and meditation that soothe the mine, reduce anxiety, increase immunity and enhance the functions of the lung.


The International Yoga Day Celebration?

On June 21st every year, International Yoga Day is celebrated to create awareness and rejoice the spiritual and physical expertise that yoga brings with it to the world stage. International Yoga Day was incepted in 2014 in the UN General Assembly, marking 21st June 2015 as the first Yoga Day celebration worldwide. It may be officially celebrated on a single day but for millions worldwide, Yoga is an important way to exercise and remain healthy on a daily basis.  The discipline that yoga brings with it, enables people to connect the soul, body and mind in a unique way that has gone on for centuries.

This year International Yoga Day 2021 is going to be celebrated worldwide on Monday, June 21, 2021. It is the ideal way to spread awareness about the vitality of yoga amongst the entire population. The effects on health and well-being that Yoga brings about are irreplaceable. These celebrations are observed across the globe in Canada, India, United States, Europe, Australia, China, Middle East and a few South Asian countries as well.


Origin of the International Yoga Day Theme

The idea of dedicating a day to this spiritual health form, Yoga was proposed by Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India. During his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014. He stated that an invaluable gift, Yoga with it roots in the ancient Indian History can bring the mind and body in complete unison. It is a holistic method to ensure good health and well being and strikes a balance between fulfilment and restraint and action and thought.

The Reserve Bank of India issued the 10 rupees coin to commemorate this great Yoga Day and in April 2017 the United Nations Postal Administration launched 10 stamps depicting different asanas to mark the International Yoga Day.


2021 International Yoga Day Theme

“Be With Yoga, Be at home”

Due to pandemic and the entire world being adversely affected by it, this year’s International Yoga Day theme is to do “Yoga at home and Yoga with Family”. People are encouraged to celebrate this day virtually as most countries have imposed a certain form of lockdown. This will make it hard for people to step out and practice yoga also keeping mind the importance of social distancing, it is advised to do this at home.

The World Health Organization has advised against any group gatherings to celebrate this day as their reports show that Coronavirus is going to negatively impact the world for some time to come. This makes it very risky to step out and have a group celebration. So, while they are recommending that people stay home and practice Yoga, they are also stressing on the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and making yoga a part of one’s lifestyle. Yoga not only impacts the physical health of a person but makes them mentally strong which is the need of the hour. It pushes us to foster positive thoughts and exude positive vibes making the world a better place to be in.


How can you be a part of this year’s International Yoga Day Celebrations?

International Yoga Day is more of an awareness day rather than a public. Mostly groups come together and practice yoga and throw light on its benefits. However, this year the celebration will be slightly different.

- You can take the lead and conduct a yoga class at home for your family members as going out is not advised

- To make sure your breathing technique and posture is right you can watch a professional video

- Explain to the younger generation the importance of yoga

- Share some pictures or activities or enlighten people via social media using the apt hashtags for the day

- Share a meaningful spiritual yoga quote


Though you may not be able to celebrate this day as originally planned, do whatever you can in your limited capacity to honour your physical health and mental well being through Yoga.