Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

International Yoga Day 2018: All you need to know

India gears up to celebrate International Yoga Day Chennai College students with painted faces during an event to commemorate International Day of Yoga 2018
Johnnie Parks | 22 June, 2018, 08:42

Downward-facing dogs, cobras and warriors were set to sprout all over the world Thursday, as the fourth annual International Yoga Day got under way.

On December 11, 2014, India's representative to the United Nations, Asoke Mukherji, introduced a resolution to declare June 21, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and a day of special significance in many cultures throughout the world, as International Yoga Day.

In India, the main event was kick-started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who performed yoga along with over 50,000 enthusiasts at Dehradun's sprawling Forest Research Institute. The enthusiasm of getting from "illness to wellness" is spreading from the busy streets of the South Korean capital, Seoul, to the foot of Eiffel Tower in Paris.

It is born of an "awareness of the unsatisfactory character of the human condition", says India specialist Tara Michael, author of the book "Yoga" published in France in 1980.

"I invite you to explore and celebrate yoga wherever you are". And we are very happy to see that it has got universal acceptance, and as I said, yoga has always been a unifying force and we have seen the development of yoga in the last four years and the kind of positive movement is certainly incredible.

Pictures on social media showed participants braved rising mercury levels and unhealthy air quality in some places to spotlight yoga, India's cultural export to the world.

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He said the proposal for a International Day for Yoga at the UN was accepted in record time with a majority of nations supporting it.

As millions of yoga enthusiasts stretched and twisted their bodies, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said yoga should not be seen as part of any religious practice.

Nepalese Consul General Revati Podal said it was his third year in row to participate in yoga day here in Jeddah. "Yoga should be a general recommendation as part of the rehabilitation therapy for drug addicts who seek a high by consuming unsafe substances, a high that yoga can give them by enhancing euphoric hormones", she said. "Instead of increasing suffering, Yoga heals", the 67-year-old said.

"Today people all over the world have come to look upon yoga as something which belongs to them", Modi said.

The day is celebrated in 25 to 30 cities in different parts of China with larger turnouts, he said. Modi said India should be proud to be the "guardians of the great practice".

Yoga being practiced at high seas with Japanese Navy and INS Sahyadri to commemorate International Yoga Day 2018. "Yoga contributes not only to physical fitness but also to mind fitness, it has nothing to do with any religion or region", he added.

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