New Delhi: Today, on June 21, the world is celebrating the seventh International Yoga Day. Yoga is believed to have originated in India thousands of years ago and also finds mention in ancient mythological books like the Rig Veda.
On 27 September 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, proposed the idea of practicing ‘Yoga Day’.
In his speech, Modi termed Yoga as an ‘invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition’ and highlighted the importance of yoga for maintaining ‘harmony between man and nature’. The draft resolution passed by India was backed by 177 nations and the first International Yoga Day was celebrated on June 21, 2015.
According to the UN website, the theme for International Yoga Day 2021 is ‘Yoga for well-being’, i.e. how the practice of Yoga can promote the holistic health of every individual. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating psychological suffering and mental health problems, many people have been embracing Yoga to stay healthy and to fight isolation and depression.
Yoga Day is celebrated across the globe to highlight the importance of Yoga and how it has been beneficial in keeping the body and mind in sound health. Considered as a holistic approach and targeting the different systems of the body and the mind, Yoga renews the mind with confidence. It calms the mind and improves concentration and patience. Practicing asanas and pranayama regulates the purification of the internal system of the organs. The energy generated in the body through these physical exercises is then channelled into meditation for peace, stability and calm.