A Portugese guru Amrta Suryananda, not Modi behind the idea of Yoga Day



By NewsGram Staff Writer

As the world is preparing to celebrate the first International Yoga Day on 21 June, not many people are aware that Portugal based yoga guru- Jagatguru Amrta Suryananda is the man behind Yoga day idea.

Amrta Suryananda Maha Raja, who is the head of the Yoga Portuguese Confederation, was the first one to conceive, propose and celebrate the event way back in 2001.

Suryananda learned yoga from Swami Krishnananda at his ashram in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Later he set up his own ashram on the outskirts of Lisbon.

Indian Express reported that he had visualised the event as a day, marking the beginning of the millennium, without bloodshed and highlighting the importance of life and diversity.

H R Nagendra, the vice-chancellor of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru, was influenced by the idea of Suryananda. Reportedly Nagendra used to give yoga lessons to PM Modi in the 1980s.

As per the report Nagendra told Modi about the need for taking the idea of World Yoga Day forward. The PM then pursued it to a logical end and the outcome was the UN resolution declaring June 21 as the International Yoga Day.