Celebrate International Day of Yoga 2019

by Helena Hoffmann
IDY Bangkok 2019

How it all began…
Yoga took it’s time to have its ‘own’ day. In 2015 the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 unanimously as the International Day of Yoga (IDY). This year IDY was celebrated for the 5th time and the anniversary became a tradition worldwide with a yearly growing number of people who join this celebration. Many places all around the world organise special events for Yoga Day and Bangkok is one of them with a high participation of yoga practitioners.

As yoga is such an ingrained part of India’s history and lifestyle, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to the United Nations in 2014 with a proposal to create a special day for yoga. Thanks to him, yoga gained more significance around the world, and since then observed and celebrated across the globe.

IDY Bangkok 2019

In the UN General Assembly (UNGA he gave an inspiring speech which convinced 177 out of 193 countries (the highest number of co-sponsors for any UNGA resolution in history) to approve the International Day of Yoga. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added in a message, “Yoga can bring communities together in an inclusive manner that generates respect and can promote peace and development.” Going beyond the view of yoga as physical and mental disciplines, Modi promoted it as a holistic way of life that stresses “harmony between man and nature” and simpler lifestyles. With all these positive prospects and benefits, no wonder the proposal was so highly accepted and adopted.

The annual IDY celebration is a reminder that yoga is for everyone regardless of our physical aptitude, age, beliefs or religion. It is about raising awareness of this practice and all the benefits anyone can attain through it. Yoga teaches us to take charge of our entire being. From stress relief and a more flexible body to a healthier lifestyle, everyone definitely benefits from a little bit of yoga.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action… a holistic approach that is valuable to our health and our wellbeing. Yoga is not just about exercise; it’s a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in wellbeing. Let us work towards adopting an International Day of Yoga”

— Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN General Assembly.

Yoga is not about doing some fancy postures or gymnastics but rather a way of life and a self-care tool (to honour our body, mind and soul). “We have to take care of our body as a friend and not to fight with our body.” (1)

Yoga is very beneficial for physical fitness, muscular-skeletal functioning and cardiovascular health. It also helps in lifestyle disorders like depression, fatigue, anxiety, diabetes, hypertension and other stress-related issues. It stresses the importance of taking care of our earth and ourselves. The practice teaches us to connect with nature and respect all forms of life and be kind to each other. This year on Sunday, June 16, again more than 5,000 yoga enthusiasts and yoga friends participated wholeheartedly in the celebration on the grounds of Chulalongkorn University in the early morning hours to pay gratitude to the sun, our life force and to enjoy our healthy lifestyle with likeminded people.

Sanjiv Chaturvedi, Divine Yoga Bangkok
Master Sanjiv Chaturvedi, Divine Yoga Bangkok

As in previous years the biggest and healthiest event in Bangkok was hosted and organised by the Embassy of India to Thailand in partnership with various supporting organisations. Everyone in Bangkok was welcome to celebrate the holistic approach to physical wellbeing, mental peace and emotional balance. The opening remarks were held by H.E. Mrs Suchitra Durai (Ambassador of India to Thailand) and Professor Bundhit Eua-arporn Ph.D. (President of the Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok). The Common Yoga Protocol was lead by Master Sanjiv Chaturvedi from Divine Yoga, Bangkok.

IDY Bangkok 2019

This was undoubtedly again a great success for India, for the Indian Embassy in Thailand and for the yogic culture and tradition. Photos and videos of the yoga event in Bangkok were sent to Delhi to the Ministry of AYUSH (Abbreviation for: Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani ‘herbs’, Siddha ‘ancient medicine’ and Homeopathy) and were broadcasted on India’s news channel. More and more people are making the effort to adopt yoga as a lifestyle and stay committed to it. The true beauty of yoga is, that everyone can do it. You can start today and whatever your current knowledge of yoga is, everyone can join the annual celebration. See you next year for the 6th International Day of Yoga here in Bangkok.

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