India sets two Guinness records with yoga event at Delhi's Rajpath

  • Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 22, 2015 16:02 IST

The Narendra Modi government’s Yoga Day event in Delhi broke two world records on Sunday but it will have to wait for more than a year before officially gaining an entry into the Guinness book.

Officials said the showcase yoga programme at Rajpath saw the largest number of participants at 35,985 people and the most number of participating nationalities (84).

“The deadline for this year’s book has passed so the record won’t appear on the book until September 2016 at the earliest. We receive 40,000 record applications per year and our editorial team decides which 3,800 records appear in the book based on a number of factors,” Doug Male, the Guinness World Records public relations manager told HT in an email late in the evening, in response to a questionnaire.

The ministry of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy (AYUSH), which was in-charge of Modi’s pet project, had already set its sights on breaking the previous world record that was set in 2005, when 29,973 students from 362 schools performed yoga at a Gwalior university.

“It is a matter of pride for India that we have broken two records on one day,” minister of AYUSH, Shripad Naik, told reporters, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated all for the successful record event.

Modi, an avid yoga practitioner for many years, led the event at Delhi's Rajpath early in the morning by joining the huge gathering in performing asanas.

The entire 2-km stretch from Rafi Marg crossing near Vijay Chowk to India Gate was lined with blue and red mats over green carpets with people of all ages performing various yoga exercises.

The event broke the earlier record set on November 19, 2005, when 29,973 students from 362 schools had performed a sequence of 'yogic kriyas' for surya namaskar simultaneously for 18 minutes led by Vivekananda Kendra at Jiwaji University Gwalior.

The awards were received by Ayush Minister Shripad Yesso Naik from representatives of Guinness World Records -- Victoria from Britain and Marco Frigatti from Italy.

Yoga events were held across all states in India and most major cities across the world -- from New York to London and Tokyo and Sydney.

Dubai man's attempt

In Dubai, a 40-year-old man of Indian origin stood on his head for 61 minutes in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record.

Ivan Stanley, a Dubai-based advertising professional, broke his own previous record of 34 minutes of Shirsasana. "It feels nice but a little disorienting. Those last five minutes were impossible, perhaps the longest of my life," Stanley was quoted as saying by the Emirates 247 News.

According to the Guinness World Records, a headstand attempt has not been registered as a challenge so far.

"When I contacted the Guinness World Records international office and the Dubai one, there was no such challenge registered with the organisation. We have registered the attempt and will send the video to them. Hopefully, we should know soon enough," Stanley said.

( With agency inputs)

Full coverage: International Yoga Day

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