International Yoga Day 2020: Date, significance, theme and why we celebrate the day

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International Yoga Day 2020: Date, significance, theme and why we celebrate the day

Yoga, which is an ancient India's practice has been flourishing for the past 5000 years. And it is followed not just in India but across the world. Speaking of International Yoga Day, the day is celebrated every year on June 21 after PM Narendra Modi's proposal at the United Nations was accepted. For the unversed, on September 27, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), made a proposal for an International Yoga Day. The draft resolution which was proposed by India was then endorsed by a record one hundred and seventy-seven member states. During his speech at the UNGA in September 2014, PM Modi emphasized how important is yoga. 

He had 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 nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

Significance of International Yoga Day:

Since the year 2015, the day has been celebrated every year annually all over the world on June 21 with an aim to create awareness about yoga and its health benefits. PM Modi had proposed the date June 21 as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the day has special importance in many parts of the world. 

Yoga is now more important than ever as it helps to boost our immunity, cure several diseases including stress, anxiety which is quite prevalent now and respiratory disorders. The first-ever International Day of Yoga had created two records.

One for the largest yoga event and the other for the highest number of nationalities' participation. A few days ago, PM Modi during his ‘Mann ki Baat’ launched a video blogging competition called ‘My Life My Yoga’. He invited citizens to participate in this event and post their videos. He also encouraged people to stay active even during the lockdown. 

ALSO READ | International Yoga Day 2020: Here's how yoga can beat the COVID 19 stress

The theme of International yoga day this year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations will not like we do every year. The day will be observed virtually as gatherings and events won't happen as we have to still follow social distancing norms even during the unlock phase. And that's why the theme of this year is ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’ which is very much apt. 

Several virtual events are scheduled and people will start the same since 7 am in the morning on June 21. In a statement, the AYUSH Ministry stated, “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.” 

Themes of past years:

IYD Year 2015 - Yoga for Harmony and Peace

IYD Year 2016 - Connect the Youth

IYD Year 2017 - Yoga for Health

IYD Year 2018 - Yoga for Peace

IYD Year 2019 -Yoga for Heart