Celebrating the International Day of Yoga
Yoga is a discipline that fosters a state of harmony between the body and mind, giving us physical strength and equipping us with mental equilibrium and emotional resilience to effectively confront the challenges of modern life. The United Nations General Assembly designated June 21st as the official International Day of Yoga.
Since June 21st, 2015, this significant day has been celebrated worldwide, featuring diverse activities and programs focused on yoga and overall well-being. Countless individuals from various countries have enthusiastically engaged in events on International Day of Yoga, transforming it into a global health movement.
Initiatives by the Ministry of Ayush for IDY 2023
The Ministry of Ayush has undertaken several flagship initiatives to encourage widespread participation on the 9th International Day of Yoga (IDY-2023).
One of the initiatives is the ‘100 Days, 100 Cities, and 100 Organizations’ campaign organized by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. This campaign, held from March 13th to June 21st, aims to promote and share knowledge of yoga among people nationally, emphasizing improving their health and well-being.
A unique program called the ‘Ocean Ring of Yoga’ will be introduced on June 21st, where yoga demonstrations will take place at various ports and ships with the collaboration of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of External Affairs, and Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways. This initiative aims to showcase the transformative power of yoga in fostering global unity and harmonious coexistence, aligning with the theme of 'Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam' for this year.
The IDY-2023 celebrations will extend from the Arctic to Antarctica, featuring yoga demonstrations in countries near Prime Meridian. Yoga sessions will also be conducted at remote locations, including the Indian Research Base in Svalbard, Arctic, and Bharati—the Indian Research Base in Antarctica. These unique settings highlight the universal reach and adaptability of yoga.
The ‘Yog Bharatmala’ initiative involves the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, and Border Road Organisation organizing yoga demonstrations at the borders, coasts, and islands. This endeavour emphasizes the unifying influence of yoga across diverse geographical locations, contributing to the well-being of individuals and communities stationed in these areas.
The active involvement of Panchayats, Anganwadis, Asha/ANM workers, and local communities is crucial in facilitating grassroots-level yoga demonstrations. Health and Wellness Centers established by the Health and Ayush Ministries, along with numerous Amrit Sarovars, will host yoga demonstrations. This year's immersive experience of 'Har Aangan Yog' will embody the true essence and spirit of this holistic practice.
Government initiatives to promote yoga
In recognition of the valuable contribution and responsibility of the media in spreading awareness about yoga in India and around the world, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting introduced the Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman in June 2019. This year, the Ministry has decided to organize the second edition of this prestigious award. The Samman aims to appreciate and acknowledge the significant role played by the media in promoting the reach of yoga. As we celebrate the International Day of Yoga, it is crucial to acknowledge the influential role and accountability held by the media in advocating this ancient practice and its multitude of benefits.
The Ministry of Ayush, which serves as the central authority overseeing all activities related to Yoga aims to ensure widespread access to the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) in order to benefit individuals of all ages. The CYP is a meticulously designed 45-minute program of suitable Yogasana practices, carefully crafted by experts. It can be effortlessly practiced by both young and old individuals without any difficulties. This program is rooted in yogic traditions and incorporates various techniques based on scientific knowledge. The Ministry of Ayush is committed to making the CYP available to a wide range of people, enabling every member of society to experience the benefits of Yoga. Consequently, the CYP has gained widespread acceptance as a preferred format for daily Yoga practice within a relatively short period of time.
Health benefits of yoga
Yoga, an ancient Indian practice, offers a holistic approach to improving overall health and promoting relaxation. Through a combination of physical postures (asanas) and breathing exercises, yoga enhances strength, flexibility, and mental tranquillity.
During the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, yoga has emerged as a valuable tool for promoting health and well-being among individuals worldwide.
With various sets of asanas and breathing techniques, yoga provides targeted benefits for both the body and mind. In addition to enhancing posture and offering physical advantages such as reducing blood pressure, improving digestion, enhancing sleep, boosting the immune system, and assisting with weight management, yoga also greatly benefits one's psychological well-being. It cultivates a positive mental state, reduces stress, and promotes inner peace and balance.
Yoga industry in India
Within the yoga industry, various sub-sectors exist, including yoga studios, the apparel market, equipment sales, and wellness tourism. A recent addition that has gained significant popularity in the realm of yoga is online classes.
As of December 31, 2022, over 16 million wellness sessions, including yoga, have been implemented under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, through Health & Wellness Centres.