The term yoga means “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach”. In Vedic Sanskrit literatures we will find the mention of yoga and its benefit. The practice of yoga is prevalent among Indians long before it was written in the Vedic texts and Upanishads. Stone-cut sculptures of saints such as Buddha, Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara and even lord Shiva has been found in India. These sculptures prove the popularity of yogic asanas in India. The Indian epic Mahabharata also has a mention of yoga and its benefits in the Mokshadharma section of the 12th chapter (Shanti Parva) of the Mahabharata. Some scholars have estimated that yoga is as old as 5,000 years and it has originated from India. Even UNISCO has approved the thought that the birth of various yogic postures has taken place in India.

Though yoga was a very popular practice for keeping oneself fit yet it could not cross the boundaries of Indian subcontinent until Swami Vivekananda, an Indian teacher and yogi,presented a lecture on meditation in Chicago.Yoga was first brought to America in thelate1800s. Yoga slowly began gaining followers, and flourished during the 1960’s when there was a surge of interest in Eastern philosophy. There has since been a vast exchange of yoga knowledge in America,with many students going to India to study and many Indian experts coming here to teach.

On 11 December 2014, by the consent of 193-member of United Nations General Assembly 21 June was established as ‘International Day of Yoga. The declaration of this day came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on 27 September 2014. He choose the already important day of Summer Solstice i.e., 21st June, to become more important for the world by introducing this day as the International Yoga Day.

The first International Day of Yoga was observed world over on 21 June 2015. It is registered that about 35000 people (and several unregistered people of different region / locality) performed asanas. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a large number of dignitaries performed 21 Yoga asanas (yoga postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi. This year the Prime Minister Narendra Modi chooses Chandigarh for celebrating this event and international achievement. The day devoted to Yoga was observed across the world and the number of observers has increased to a million this year. Last year the event at Rajpath established two Guinness records – largest Yoga Class with 35985 people and the record for the most nationalities participating in it- eighty four. In this running year India broke several other records, such as:

 

  • Yoga guru Ramdev broke a record in Faridabad town in Haryana, where over 100,000 people performed yoga with Ramdev, setting a world record.
  • Over 2,000 pregnant women participated in this yoga event in Rajkot to break China’s record of 913.

 

~ International Yoga Day -2nd year ~

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