International Day of Yoga celebrated across the globe
The fourth International Day of Yoga was celebrated across the globe on 21st June 2018. The theme for the 2018 celebration, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, was ‘Yoga for Peace.’ This year, the main event in India was held at Dehradun’s Forest Research Institute, led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Women’s team of Indian Army set world records for performing yoga at 19022 ft altitude. An all-women team of Indian Army officers, under Col Omender K Pawar, scaled the mighty Mt Bhagirathi II and set a world record for performing yoga at an altitude of 19022 ft. The expedition that was done in May-June 2018 was to celebrate the International day of Yoga. The team of nine women officers has broken the previous record of Indian Army recorded in the Limca Book of Records for performing yoga at 18800 ft in Siachen Glacier. Scaling the snow-clad Bhagirathi after the long winters in Garhwal Himalayas is a mean feat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Yogasan, Pranayama and Dhyan with about 50,000 yoga enthusiasts and volunteers at the Forest Research Institute campus. Giving a clear-cut message to the Yoga enthusiasts all over the world, Prime Minister said that the entire world has embraced Yoga and the glimpses of this can be seen in the way International Day of Yoga is celebrated every year. He further added that Yoga Day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being. Talking about the potential of Yoga, Prime Minister said that Yoga has a solution to most of the problems faced by people, as individuals as well as a society. He said that Yoga could lead to a calm, creative and content life, removing tensions and needless anxiety. “Instead of dividing, Yoga unites. Instead of further animosity, Yoga assimilates. Instead of increasing suffering, Yoga heals”, he added.
The 4th International Day of Yoga was also celebrated at Rashtrapati Bhavan with a yoga demonstration. More than 500 officers and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan and their family members as well as residents of the President’s Estate participated in the event. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, who was on a state visit to Suriname participated in the celebration along with the President of Suriname and other dignitaries in Paramaribo, Suriname. The President said that while Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition, but it doesn’t belong to India alone. He said it is a part of humanity’s intangible heritage and has invited everyone to explore and celebrate yoga.
Mumbai Port Trust celebrated ‘International Yoga Day at Gateway of India in association with Heartfulness and Patanjali Yog Samiti. Shri Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust conducted meditation session on the occasion of International Yoga Day.
The Western Naval Command has adopted Yoga as a way of life with a new philosophy, “From Fitness to Wellness” to achieve synergy between mind, body, emotions and energy towards healthy and happy living. International Yoga Day – 2018 was observed by units of the Western Naval Command at Mumbai, Karnataka, Goa and Gujarat. Defence civilians from industrial units of the Command also conducted Yoga camps at their work places. Over 15,000 service personnel and family members of the Western Naval Command participated in the events.
It may be noted that the draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly.
The resolution noted the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health. In this regard, the World Health Organization has also urged its member states to help their citizens reduce physical inactivity, which is among the top ten leading causes of death worldwide, and a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
At United Nations Headquarters several activities were organized such as Yoga Session with Yoga Masters, broadcast of Message from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Yoga presentation by a group of eight students from India, led by Yoga Teacher Nisha Pushpavam; Yoga on Mallakhamb by a group of practitioners from the Mallakhamb Federation of USA; Yoga demonstration by a group of five yoga teachers from the Bhakti Center of New York. There there was Main Yoga session by Swami Paramananda, Manager of the Ashram, “Sivananda Yoga Ranch” (Woodbourne, NY); Talk on Yoga by Dr. H. R. Nagendra, the founder and Chancellor of “Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru.
Other events held at UN HQ included: Laser projection of yoga postures – From June 19 through June 21. “Yoga, Peace, Unity and Healing: Sharing Collective Meditation in Stillness” was led by Tillman Chapel of the Church Center for the UN. There was an exhibition on Yoga organized by the Indian Mission at the UN.