Written by Prakriti Panwar, a first-year undergraduate student
History of International Yoga Day
The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to join or to unite.’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi first mentioned the idea of an ‘International Yoga Day’ during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 27th September 2014, and on December 11, 2014, the UNGA officially declared June 21st and International Yoga Day. IDY was first observed on June 21, 2015
This year’s theme and significance
Marking its 8th edition, the theme for International Yoga Day 2022 is “Yoga for Humanity.”
The core purpose of International Yoga Day, better known as IDY, is “to create mass awareness regarding the Health Benefits of Yoga for the people.” This year’s theme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in “Mann Ki Baat,” a monthly radio programme hosted by PM Modi on All India Radio. A 100-day countdown started on 13th March 2022 marking the beginning of the campaign, across 100 cities and 100 organizations around the world. This was followed by a 75, 50, and 25-day countdown in Delhi, Assam and Telangana respectively.
According to Prime Minister Modi, this year’s theme was selected after “deliberation and consultation” and “appropriately portrays how yoga served humanity in alleviating sufferings during Covid-19.” He further mentioned that yoga could foster a sense of unity in the world, especially post-covid.
Programmes and activities
Keeping the theme of ‘Yoga for Humanity’ in mind, special programmes have been designed for the specially-abled, transgender population, as well as women and children. This year, Indian villages and Gram Panchayats are also expected to participate in large numbers as the CSCs (Common Service Centers or “access points” for delivery of various government services to citizens) will be promoting the Common Yoga Protocol (which is a common protocol established to ensure that mass yoga demonstrations take place harmoniously).To celebrate 75 years of independence or the government initiative of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” CYP demonstrations will also take place in 75 Indian “cultural heritage locations.”
Another programme that will be a part of the IDY 2022 is ‘The Guardian Ring,’ which aims at “celebrating the movement of the sun” and the concept of ‘one sun, one earth.’ Through this program, people from all countries across the world can welcome the sun through Suryanamaskar, or sun salutations (a practice in yoga that consists of a sequence of 12 yoga asanas)
Several other programs for IDY 2022 are being promoted through the Ministry of Ayush (which is in charge of promoting Traditional & Non-Conventional Systems of Health Care) and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. The main event (or demonstration) of the International Yoga Day for 2022 will be held in Mysuru, Karnataka.