The celebration of The International Day of Yoga has been expanding and spreading across the world since 2015, when it was celebrated for the first time. More than 180 countries will celebrate it this year gathering thousands of yoga enthusiasts. The World Capital of Yoga – Mysuru/Mysore – will attempt to set two new Guinness World Records.
When India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi proposed the idea of the International Day of Yoga (IDY) back in 2014, he emphasised the importance of this ancient tradition not only to India, but also to the general well-being of all nations. A year later, in 2015, on June 21 the world joined in celebration of IDY for the first time, marking this date with various yoga events across the globe. June 21 also marks the day of Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year) in the Northern Hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere (the shortest day of the year); the importance of this date is evident from various ancient traditions. In yogic tradition the first full moon after the Summer Solstice or June 21 is known as Guru Pournami; it marks the day more than 15,000 years ago when Shiva, the first yogi or the Adiyogi became Adi Guru and started to pass his knowledge of yoga to mankind:
“It was on that full moon day – the first full moon after the summer solstice – that an entire exploration of the mechanics of life unfolded on this planet. […] It was on this day that the seed of liberation was planted in the human consciousness.”
According to New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) more than 180 countries will participate in IDY 2017.
Here are some events that already kick-started the celebrations.
International Day of Yoga 2017 across the globe
In CHINA more than a thousand yoga lovers performed asanas in Wenzhou by the picturesque Dongtou Wanghai Pavilion ahead of IDY. China has also planned several IDY 2017 events across the country, the Chinese officials’ marked, that it will hold the second biggest celebration of the IDY 2017 after India.
Celebrations in China will take place in various venues across the country – the Great Wall, Chengdu, Dongguan, Zhongshan and Foshan cities; as well as various parks, lakes and resorts across China will become venues for IDY 2017 celebrations.
In the United States, the UN headquarters in New York lit up the word “Yoga” on their facade ahead of IDY 2017 celebrations.
Washington gathered hundreds of yoga enthusiasts came together at the historic National Mall and performed asanas in celebration of IDY 2017.
Navtej Sarna, The Indian Ambassador to the US, emphasised that IDY is not in any way a political or economical movement:
“This is something which is only for the benefit of all humanity at both an individual level and a macro level, because ultimately all societies in all countries are made up of human beings.”
JAPAN is the only country that has created a Parliamentary League for the promotion of Yoga. It was established in April 2017, while Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of Art of Living, visited Japan. IDY was celebrated in Tokyo and in Kansai, Kyoto, among the other places. The main event took place in Tokyo:
“In Japan, the Indian Embassy celebrated the Yoga Day at the Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo. Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Japan in September 2014 had visited the school and interacted with the students.”
In SINGAPORE yoga enthusiasts alongside national leaders came together to celebrate IDY 2017; around 8,000 people altogether attended 85 events at 70 centres across Singapore.
In FRANCE one of the main events took place in Paris, in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower, where people gathered to enjoy various yoga asanas.
This year in MYSURU, the Yoga Capital of the World, the celebrations of IDY will be particularly special. Already on June 19 schoolchildren attempted to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest yoga chain (results will be known in two weeks):
“Mysuru is hopeful of etching its name in the record books as 8,387 schoolchildren formed the ‘longest yoga chain’ in front of the iconic Mysuru Palace on Monday for the Guinness World Records.”
In addition to that, on June 21, more than 60,000 participants will try to create a new Guinness World Record “for largest number of people performing yoga at one single venue”; this event will take place at the Mysuru Race Course.
Set out early on June 21, to enjoy the longest or the shortest day of the year; and see what your local studio and your local yoga teachers have prepared to celebrate the third International Day of Yoga.
For more photos of various yoga events across the globe follow India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.