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Miami Living Celebrates International Day of Yoga

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on June 21st since 2015. And the first International Day of Yoga created a record for the largest yoga class, and another for the largest number of participating nationalities.

The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. He stated:

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; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day. — Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

Following this initial proposal, the United Nations held informal consultations on the draft resolution, entitled "International Day of Yoga", on October 14th 2014. The consultations were convened by the delegation of India. In 2015 Reserve Bank of India issued a 10 rupees commemorative coin to mark the International Day of Yoga.


An Associated Press report in 2015 noted that the first "International Yoga Day" involved "millions of yoga enthusiasts" who "stretched and twisted", as well as Modi and members of his cabinet. It stated that the main road in Delhi had become an exercise area for the occasion, and reported that while Modi was speaking of "peace and harmony", some people in India thought the promotion of yoga was a partisan Hindu operation. It reported that a sequence of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) was dropped because Muslims objected to the implication that the sun was the Hindu god of the sun, Surya; the chanting of the Hindu sacred syllable "Om" was also dropped. Others considered that the money spent on the event might have been better spent on cleaning Delhi's streets.

The Christian Science Monitor wrote in 2016 that the 2014 United Nations resolution had been "wildly popular" but noted that yoga had a "meditative component" and had become known as not only a form of physical exercise but also a mental and spiritual practice. It gave as evidence the 2015 sermon by Pope Francis cautioning Roman Catholics about the idea that yoga could be a path to God; it noted, too, that Modi had replied to the charge that the Day was intended to promote Hinduism with the words "Yoga is not about the other life. Therefore, it is not a religious practice".

The Week stated in 2015 that the government of India's purpose in holding International Days of Yoga was to have yoga recognised around the world as "India's cultural property", citing India's minister of yoga, Shripad Yesso Naik as stating "We're trying to establish to the world that it's ours." The Week wrote that this was not likely to succeed, not least because many types of yoga were already being practiced in the Western world. The article noted that Christian evangelicals agreed with the Indian government that yoga was "primarily a Hindu spiritual practice", but quoted the scholar of religion Ann Gleig as saying that most Western yoga was markedly changed by being in the West, and was devoid of religious content; the "ironically" agreeing views of strongly religious Hindus and Christians were "historically flawed".

Gif image by Sarito, a graphic artist originally from Venezuela and currently living in Zürich. Her designs seek to honor the female gender, reflecting strength and delicacy in one voice. She likes to project a positive world, full of flowers, light, and love. Contact Sarito at, and @saritos_ink on Instagram.

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