Published: 21st June 2021
What the FAQ: Why is June 21 celebrated as International Yoga Day? Here's all you need to know
In today's FAQ, we explain the significance of the International Day of Yoga, its origin and a lot more. Read about it here
Are your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram timelines flooded with people doing yoga? We know that your answer is yes, because what day is today? The International Day of Yoga! So we decided to look a few years back in history and tell you about the origin of the day and yoga in itself.
When did yoga originate?
We do not have a precise answer to that question. But, the practice of yoga has been thought to date back to pre-Vedic India, somewhere around 3000 BC. The Upanishads too mention the art. It is also mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita.
When and how did it become this popular?
The credit for this would go to Swami Vivekananda. His adaptation of yoga without asanas gained a lot of popularity in the west in the 19th and 20th centuries.
What is the International Day of Yoga all about?
The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated on June 21, 2015. The idea was proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN General Assembly. "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. Changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day," he said.
But why June 21?
Modi said that the date was the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.