Saturday June 23, 2018

Second International Yoga Day: India celebrates Yoga Day With PM Modi and 30,000 Yoga Enthusiasts

Around 96,000 enthusiasts had applied to practice yoga with Modi, and 30,000 were selected - 10,000 each from Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana

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International Yoga Day
Thousands of people participated in International Day of Yoga last year. Wikimedia
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  • International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21 June 2016 every year after the unanimous resolution was passed by UN General Assembly in 2014
  • This year’s Yoga Day saw active participation from 30,000 people who joined the PM in Chandigarh
  • The Day was internationally recognized with the UN Building in NY by flashing yoga poses on its walls

International Yoga Day is a product of diligent endeavors by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the support of his government. The idea was first introduced by Modi on 27th September, 2014, in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; 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”, said Narendra Modi. He suggested the date to be 21st June since it is the longest day in the northern hemisphere, and holds special importance in many countries.

International Yoga Day
Yoga training. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

The Prime Minister celebrated the 2nd International Yoga Day in Chandigarh on Tuesday, 21st June 2016. Encouraging the nation to participate, Modi reiterated that this practice is essential to the health of the body as well as the mind, and not just a superstitious religious tradition. “Just as the mobile phone is now a part of your life, make yoga too a part of your life,” he said, inviting tumultuous applause. Despite a few thundershowers early morning, a huge turnout of yoga enthusiasts was witnessed with the event starting at 4 AM in the morning.

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Very tight security was ensured in Chandigarh’s sector 1 area. Around 96,000 enthusiasts had applied to practice yoga with Modi, and 30,000 were selected – 10,000 each from Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana. These selected people had also undergone training for the past 15 days to finally join in with the Prime Minister.

The focus for this year’s International Yoga Day was to encourage participation from the Divyangs, a term coined by the Modi government to address the differently-abled people. People from all walks of life, including college students, security personnel, and the elderly showed tremendous interest in the event that was held.

International Yoga Day
Richard Rahul Verma performing yoga. Image courtesy: ANI News

The Prime Minister’s Cabinet and other officials joined in on the effort. BJP Chief Ministers of various states were noticed holding events in their respective states. Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani participated in various yoga events to pledge support. Even the Us Ambassador to India, Richard Rahul Verma was photographed doing yoga with his colleagues at the US Embassy in Delhi. Baba Ramdev held his special event at Faridabad in Haryana.

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This day was marked with many news websites and newspapers publishing important facts about yoga, and proceedings worldwide. Apps were launched for smartphones to help people incorporate yoga into their day to day activities.

International Yoga Day also received international support from various countries like The US, Egypt, Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and The UK, where events were held for thousands of people. The UN Building in New York was seen flashing holograms of the yoga pose against their walls to mark the day.

The official website for International Day of Yoga hosted interactive puzzles and quizzes to engage participation. The government has been strategically publicizing this ancient Indian practice since a long time now. International awards and certificates have also been announced to commend yoga experts over the globe.

-by Saurabh Bodas (with inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter Handle: @saurabhbodas96

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yoga has many benefits, this is a very healthy initiative taken by the people. Plus 30,000 people doing yoga is a huge number. People should be encouraged to do more of it.

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Bollywood Celebs Shares Their Views: International Yoga Day

Here's what the celebrities had to say

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Bollywood Celebs Shares Their Views: International Yoga Day
Bollywood Celebs Shares Their Views: International Yoga Day, Flickr

From veterans like Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini to mothers Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Soha Ali Khan — Bollywood celebrities, for whom fitness is a way of life — posted yoga poses and spoke about its benefits on the occasion of International Yoga Day on Thursday.

While Amitabh Bachchan shared an old image of himself performing a yogasana on Twitter, Hema took the opportunity to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for spreading awareness about it “not only in India but in all the countries he has visited in the world”.

Here’s what the celebrities had to say:

Amitabh Bachchan: Greetings… but the attire for yoga is not ideal, that was a still from the Gujarat Tourism campaign.

Amitabh Bacchan
Amitabh Bacchan, flickr

Hema Malini: Today is International Yoga Day — a celebration of the world wide interest in our own yogasanas. Thanks to our PM who has spread awareness not only in India but in all the countries he hs visited in the world! I request all of you to spend a little time on your bodies to keep fit. I do!

Shilpa Shetty: Pranayama: Prana means life (no life without breath), Ayama means practice or control. So, when you practice control over breath you will have control over your life and mind. It not only cleanses 72000 nadis or channels, your mind and blood, but that cleansing process translates into energy..

Shakti. This power helps you positively manifest your Aura, relationships, self awareness and goals. This International Yoga day start with Pranayama. Welcome the new you. Inhale the future, exhale the past. Enjoy the present. A big thank you to Narendra Modiji who leads and inspires by example and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for keeping the momentum going so passionately ‘hum fit toh India fit’.

Sandhya Mridul: Smile. Everyday. Best asana of all! Happy Yoga Day people.

Rajeev Khandelwal: The world follows it… we created it.. let’s own it!

Milind Soman: My contribution to the 1,00,000 Suryanamaskaaras that the people at Be Cure Fit are targeting today on International Yoga Day. I feel stronger and more flexible with yoga and it’s never too late to start.

Soha Ali Khan
Soha Ali Khan, flickr

Soha Ali Khan: Why I’ll always pick yoga over the latest fitness fad.

Nimrat Kaur: Place we shall ever have to live in. Keep it safe and beaming! Way of life. Born again.

Also read: Yoga a Boon for Breast Cancer Survivors

Mugdha Veira Godse: Union of body and mind! Happy International Yoga Day. Today is the day to start a brand new fitness routine. (IANS)