Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as International Yoga Day by resolution 69/131. June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
International Yoga Day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
Folding of both hands in the logo Symbolise Yoga, the union, which reflects the union of individual Consciousness with that of universal Consciousness, a perfect harmony between mind & body, man & nature; a holistic approach to health & well being. The brown leaves symbolise the Earth element, the green leaves symbolise the Nature, blue symbolises the Water element, brightness symbolises the Fire element and the Sun symbolise the source of energy and inspiration. The logo reflects harmony and peace for humanity, which is the essence of Yoga.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is very necessary and beneficial for all human beings if it is practiced by all on daily basis in the early morning. The benefits of Yoga include :-
Increased muscle strength and tone
Improved respiration,energy and vitality
Maintaining a balanced metabolism
Cardio and circulatory health
Improved athletic performance
Theme for 2023 - Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam
Following are some flagship initiatives were taken up by the Ministry of Ayush (MoA), to maximize participation in the 9th International Day of Yoga (IDY- 2023)
100 Days, 100 Cities, and 100 Organization : Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga under the Ministry of Ayush is organising a campaign of 100 days, 100 cities, and 100 organizations from 13th March 2023 to 21st June 2023 across the globe regarding the celebration of 9th IDY-2023. The campaign aimed to promote and disseminate knowledge and practice of Yoga among the people, at the national level, for the improvement of their health and well-being.
Ocean Ring of Yoga - IDY-2023 will witness an innovative program ‘Ocean Ring of Yoga' on June 21st when with the help of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Yoga demonstrations at many ports, on many ships will take place and many friendly countries will also join hands in this exercise. Aligned with the theme of 'Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam' for this year, the Ocean Ring of Yoga program aims to showcase the transformative power of yoga in fostering global unity and harmonious coexistence.
Arctic to Antarctica - Yoga demonstrations will be conducted across a vast geographical range, spanning from the Arctic to Antarctica. Countries located along or in close proximity to the Prime Meridian will actively participate in these demonstrations. Furthermore, the flight decks of INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya will serve as impressive platforms for showcasing yoga demonstrations in perfect harmony. Yoga sessions will also take place in the pristine regions of the North and South Poles. Yoga sessions will also be held at the Indian Research Base in Svalbard, Arctic as well as Bharati — the third Indian Research Base in Antarctica. These unique and remote locations will serve as serene settings for engaging in yoga practices, further exemplifying the universal reach and adaptability of this ancient discipline.
Yog Bharatmala - As part of this initiative, the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, and Border Road Organisation will organize yoga demonstrations at the borders, coasts, and islands, collectively forming a Yog Bharatmala. This concerted effort aims to showcase the unifying power of yoga in diverse geographical locations and foster a sense of well-being and harmony among the personnel and communities stationed in these strategic areas. Yog Bharatmala seeks to promote the practice of yoga as an integral aspect of the nation's cultural fabric and enhance the overall physical and mental well-being of those serving in these crucial roles.
Har Aangan Yog - At the grassroots level, the participation of Panchayats, Anganwadis, Asha/ANM workers, and local communities will be integral to the Yoga demonstrations. These essential pillars of community outreach will actively engage in showcasing yoga at various levels. Furthermore, the Health and Wellness Centers established by both the Health and Ayush Ministries, which are abundant across the country with a count exceeding 150,000, as well as the numerous Amrit Sarovars (approximately 50,000) will host Yoga demonstrations. This year, we can anticipate the immersive experience of 'Har Aangan Yog,' which will embody the true essence and spirit of this holistic practice
Prime Minister’s Yoga Awards (PMYA) - Prime Minister’s award for outstanding contribution towards the promotion and development of Yoga.
IDY Quiz Contest - MoA is organising a quiz contest on MyGov for public participation (https://quiz.mygov.in/quiz/international-day-of-yoga-2023-quiz/). Questions were based on publicly available information on past IDY celebrations and Yoga.