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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 34-35

Impact of International Day of Yoga and thrust from the Government in bringing Yoga to daily lives of people

Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN), Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission15-Apr-2023
Date of Acceptance18-Apr-2023
Date of Web Publication28-Apr-2023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rao M Raghavendra
Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN), Ministry of AYUSH, 61-65, Institutional Area, Opp ‘D’ Block, Janakpuri, New Delhi – 110058
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jras.jras_100_23

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How to cite this article:
Raghavendra RM, Vadiraja H S, Moirangthem G, Awasthi S. Impact of International Day of Yoga and thrust from the Government in bringing Yoga to daily lives of people. J Res Ayurvedic Sci 2023;7, Suppl S1:34-5

How to cite this URL:
Raghavendra RM, Vadiraja H S, Moirangthem G, Awasthi S. Impact of International Day of Yoga and thrust from the Government in bringing Yoga to daily lives of people. J Res Ayurvedic Sci [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Jun 8];7, Suppl S1:34-5. Available from: http://www.jrasccras.com/text.asp?2023/7/5/34/374496

Yoga is an invaluable gift of the ancient Indian tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; and a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. On the directions of our Honorable Prime Minister, India’s permanent representative to the UN moved the resolution in the UN general assembly on December 11, 2014, to observe June 21 as “International Day of Yoga,” which was approved by 177 member states of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In the resolution, adopted under the “Global Health and Foreign Policy” agenda, the UN General Assembly recognized that yoga “provides a holistic approach to health and wellbeing”. For the wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population, June 21 is celebrated every year as International Day of Yoga (IDY) across the globe. The main significance of the UN declaring an “International Day” is to focus the attention of the international community on the topic and to encourage activities among the member states to commemorate the day.

Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the first International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2015, on the theme' Yoga for Harmony and Peace.' The event also registered two Guinness World Records: one for the most people practicing Yoga in a single session at a single venue (35,985) and the other for the most nationalities participating in a yoga event (108). Similarly, eight International Day of Yoga events were celebrated across India under the guidance of the Ministry of Ayush on different themes at different prominent places. Observance of International Yoga Day has been captured through various portals of the ministry, including common service centers, the education department, the armed forces, NGOs, FICCI, NASSCOM, ASSOCHAM, social media handles, etc. The observance of International Day of Yoga saw a remarkable rise from 35,985 participants in the main event in 2015 to 22.13 crore participants overall, including the main event in 2022.

The increase in participation has been due to the honorable PM's Mann Ki Baat program and the 100-day countdown program to IDY every year urging the people to take part in this program. The PM has, on numerous occasions, expressed the message and purpose of Yoga to the masses and highlighted that Yoga is part of Indian tradition and a way of life itself. The first Mann ki Baat program was telecast on October 3, 2014 and is about to reach its 100th episode shortly. Some excerpts from Mann Ki Baat that focus on Yoga are elucidated below.

“Yoga is a code to connect people with life and to reconnect mankind with nature.”

'It expands our limited sense of self to see our families, societies, and mankind as extensions of our own selves”.

“Yoga makes an individual a better person in thought, action, knowledge, and devotion”.

“Once an individual develops an interest in Yoga and starts diligently practicing it, it will always remain a part of his or her life”.

“Yoga is the entrance point to one’s spiritual journey”.

“By practicing Yoga, a spirit of oneness is created—oneness of the mind, body, and intellect. Oneness with our families, with the society we live in, with fellow humans, with all the birds, animals, and trees with whom we share our beautiful planet... this is Yoga”.

“Yoga has the potential to herald in a new Yuga (a new era) of peace, compassion, brotherhood, and all-round progress for the human race”.

“Yoga is not only about Asanas. It is much more. It is a blend of Gyan (knowledge), Karma (action), and Bhakti (devotion)”.

“Yoga is a symbol of universal aspiration for health and wellbeing; it is health insurance on a zero budget. Yoga is not only about “Rog Mukti” (eradication of diseases) but also about “Bhog Mukti” (desisting from worldly greed)”.

The Honorable Prime Minister has also encouraged the fellow citizens to practice Yoga during Covid times for community, immunity, and unity.

Further, looking at research trends, there has been a clear departure from the trend in 2014, i.e., pre-IDY. Based on average publications and clinical trials undertaken before 2014 and after 2015, there has been a nearly six-fold increase in the number of yoga-related clinical trials and a nearly 11-fold increase in the average annual publication of research. These two key trends, which are used to understand the depth of a discipline academically, clearly highlight that increasing numbers of medical professionals and yoga experts have renewed their focus and efforts on the study of Yoga in hopes of enhancing its practice and adoption. PM in his Mann Ki Baat has renewed efforts for increasing the evidence base for these systems. Lack of evidence-based research in the context of our scriptures like Yoga and Ayurveda has always been a challenge and has been a part of Indian life for centuries. Results are visible, but the evidence is not. In this era of evidence-based medicine, Yoga and Ayurveda are now standing up to the touchstones of the modern era. He gave the example of research on Yoga conducted in breast cancer patients at Tata Memorial Hospital, where long-term follow-up of breast cancer patients doing Yoga has reduced the risk of recurrence by 15 percent, the results of which have been presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology conference in Paris. Similarly, the Centre for Integrative Medicine at AIIMS New Delhi has already published 20 papers in reputed international journals. A paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology describes the benefits of Yoga for patients suffering from syncope. Similarly, in a paper in the Neurology Journal, in migraine, the benefits of Yoga have been explained. Niyantritha Madhumeha Bharatha, a large nationwide multicentric study conducted across 100 districts in the country, found benefits of Yoga in managing blood glucose levels in diabetics; this study also showed reversal of prediabetes which received acclaim by American Diabetes Association.

The advent of IDY has seen the yoga sector boom in areas such as education, the yoga apparel industry, and yoga-related startups using AI-based apps and devices for the promotion of wellness and health. There has been the standardization of training in Yoga among various schools; there has been accreditation; there has been increased funding for research into Yoga as a therapy; and there has been skilling of manpower resources in Yoga, offering employment to several lakhs since the advent of IDY and use of Yoga in the workplace to improve productivity. India is now a global exporter of skilled manpower to other countries, and with the initiatives being taken by the Ministry and our Honourable Prime Minister, we will see Yoga as an emerging soft power for our country in the years to come.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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