Yoga Day 2020: When was it first celebrated, why and the theme of International Yoga Day
International Yoga Day 2020: A few days before Yoga Day, PM Modi in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ launched an event, a video blogging competition: ‘My Life My Yoga’, where he encouraged people to stay active and fit despite the lockdown.
Since 21 June, 2015, the International Day of Yoga has been an annual, global celebration. The physical, mental and spiritual practice of yoga originated in India. In his 2014 address at the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed that a day to celebrate and practice yoga must be globally recognised. In the 27 September, 2014 address, PM Modi said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; 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.”
PM Modi’s reasoning for picking 21 June as the day for celebrating yoga was on account of the fact that this day marks the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, is the longest day of the year, and has special significance in several parts of the world. For the first-ever Yoga Day, the arrangements were made by the AYUSH Ministry, and around 35,985 people, including PM Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 asanas for 35 minutes at New Delhi’s Rajpath. The first ever International Day of Yoga created two records, one for the largest yoga class and the other for the highest number of nationalities to have participated.
This year will mark the sixth edition of International Yoga Day, and in light on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the theme this year is, ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’. This year the focus will be on practising yoga at home with one’s family. In a statement, the AYUSH Ministry said, “Due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, no mass gathering would be advisable this year. Hence, this year the ministry is encouraging people to practice yoga at their homes, with participation from the entire family.” the AYUSH Ministry said in a statement.
A few days before Yoga Day, PM Modi in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ launched an event, a video blogging competition: ‘My Life My Yoga’, where he encouraged people to stay active and fit despite the lockdown. The Prime Minister is inviting citizens to participate in this event and post their videos. The competition is a combined effort by the AYUSH Ministry and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The AYUSH Ministry has been posting content related to the competition on its social media handles, celebrities including Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty and Milind Soman have been posting about it.
According to an official statement, the purpose behind this programme, which is one of the activities related to International Day of Yoga, is the transformative impact of yoga on the lives of individuals.