International Day of Yoga is celebrated with much fervour every year on June 21. This year, the International Yoga Day 2021 will be celebrated on Monday i.e. today, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the seventh such event at 6:30am. The theme for the International Day of Yoga this year is ‘Yoga for wellness’, a motto aligned to the current pre-occupations. As it is an event of a global scale, preparations for the International Yoga Day event usually begin 3-4 months prior, ultimately culminating in a grand programme where millions of people come together to observe the spiritual history and significance of the day.
International Yoga Day: 2021 theme
2021 International Day of Yoga, to be observed today, i.e. Monday (June 21), carries the theme “Yoga for well-being”, much relevant for our times in a society still recovering from the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Covid-19 plight was not just a physical crisis, it also left lasting impacts on mental health, with many left in psychological suffering, depression, and anxiety dealing with the pandemic-necessitated restrictions and loss. Yoga can come to the help of people dealing with such crises, the United Nations explained on its website since the message of the practice is to promote both physical and mental health.
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A United Nations statement, issued earlier last week, read, “A growing trend of people around the world embracing Yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated and to fight social isolation and depression has been witnessed during the pandemic. Yoga is also playing a significant role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of Covid-19 patients in quarantine and isolation. It is particularly helpful in allaying their fears and anxiety.”
International Yoga Day 2021: History and significance
The idea for an UN-mandated International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2014. In his speech, Prime Minister Modi called Yoga an “invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition” and called for the “harmony between man and nature” through Yoga. This initiative was backed by as many as 177 nations, the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such nature.
Following Prime Minister Modi’s proposal, 21 June was marked as the date to celebrate International Yoga Day since it marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, which holds special significance in many parts of the world.