International Yoga Day- History, Development, and Importance

International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day is an initiative to spread awareness about Yoga around the entire world. If you don’t know when the first internal Yoga day was observed in India then allow me to introduce the details to you. It is not a very old event like others. The Indian Government started celebrating International Yoga day on 21st June 2015. 

Yoga is an Indian-origin philosophy that promotes mental, physical, and spiritual health by promoting the concept of unification with nature and your true self. It gives calmness, peace, confidence, and courage to people. Through yoga, you can manage your day in a productive & efficient way. 

International Yoga 2022:

International Yoga Day 2022 was celebrated in Mysuru, Karnataka. The current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi organized and led the entire function. The sole motive of International Yoga day is to promote awareness about Yoga and its health benefits. 

In the time of Covid-19 people from all corners of the world were suffering through a lockdown and a deadly disease. People were anxious which only increased the problems. In such times, Yoga helped people greatly. Almost every Indian home then started practicing some Ayurvedic recipes and Yoga in their households. This helps them to grow resilience to the virus. Also, the practice of Yoga helps them to overcome the stress and anxiety which was developed during the lockdown period. 

Yoga brings balance to your psychological and physiological health and brings harmony to your emotional health. The sacredness of this practice is the soul of Yoga. As many believe, it doesn’t promote any religious activities. On the contrary, it promotes the well-being of all human beings with nature. This was the main theme of International Yoga Day 2022. ‘Yoga for Humanity.’

The previous International Yoga Day themes were as follows. 

– International Yoga Day 2021: Yoga for Well-being

– International Yoga Day 2020: Yoga at Home & Yoga with Family. 

– International Yoga Day 2019: Climate Change

– International Yoga Day 2019 (America): Yoga with Gurus

International Yoga Day History:

The 21st of June month has been celebrated as International Yoga Day since the year 2015. The current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave an impactful speech at the United Nations General Assembly on 27 September 2014. 

The prime minister 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. It is not only about exercise but to discover a sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature. Changing our lifestyles and creating consciousness can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” 

The President of the UN Assembly Sam Kutesa then declared to celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21. More than 170 countries signed and supported the proposal. From then, the whole world celebrates the day for Yoga and gives light on the visible and invisible benefits of practicing it. 

How did The World get to Know about Yoga?

Yoga has a history of more than 5000 years. No one exactly knows the origin date of Yoga practices but we have found it in one of the oldest scriptures of the world. The Rig Veda mentions Yoga a minimum of 6 times. The great sage Maharishi Patanjali compiled the knowledge of Yoga in a book named Yoga-Sutra. The ancient Indian civilization also had 6 philosophy schools. Yoga is one of them. 

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda became the tool for promoting the Sanatana Dharma in Chicago in the World Parliaments of Religion. In this assembly only, he introduced Yoga to the western world. What happened there is a proud history for all Indians. This was just the start. After Swami Vivekananda, many eastern gurus and yogis went to the western world and promoted it greatly. The Western world too accepted it and started practicing Yoga. In India, the first Yoga school was established in 1918 by Shri Yogendra. 

In the last fifty years, millions of people across the world have accepted it as their daily life routine. No doubt each one of them has found it beneficial and health-boosting. 

Why Do They Choose 21st June?

21st June is an important date on the calendar. This is because it is the day of the Summer Solstice. The Sun begins to move from North to South. This is also known as the June Solstice. As per Yogic science, this time of transition is good for meditation. Also, the stories go like this. The Adiyogi or the first Yogi started moving towards the south at the time of Uttarayana or Sankranti. He then finds his first 7 disciples, the great sages of Saptarishi. Also, the 21st of June was chosen for giving homage to the Sadgurus. 21st June is the longest day of the year. Thus it has valuable significance in many other parts of the world. 

Objectives of International Yoga Day:

  1. Make the world aware of the ancient wisdom of India. 
  2. Introduce the benefits of Yoga and the connection between nature & mankind. 
  1. Reduce the rate of health-challenging diseases in the world. 
  2. Spreading development, growth, and peace throughout the world. 
  3. Raising awareness about psychological and physical illnesses and offering solutions through Yoga. 
  4. Improving self-awareness in people. 

International Yoga Day Celebrations in India:

The Indian Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi led the country in the celebrations of the day. In 2015, more than 36000 people celebrated Yoga day at Rajpath in New Delhi. He along with the people did 21 Yoga asanas or postures for 35 minutes. 

On this day the country celebrated two world records. 

  1. The largest Yoga class. 
  2. The largest number of nationalities from 84 countries participated in the event.

On 21st June 2016, the Ayush Ministry organized the event at Chandigarh. In 2017, the event was held in Lucknow. 51000 people from 150 countries participated in this event. In 2018, the number went up to 55000 enthusiasts. 


Yoga is an ancient knowledge of man along with nature. Today when big corporations and industries are destroying nature, Yoga is trying to unite mankind with it. It is important not only for people’s health but also it teaches you to love where you live, our own planet, Earth.

Read More-What Do Indian Ancient Vedas Tell About Yoga?

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