Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his nation on the sixth International Yoga Day, Sunday morning where he said this is the day of unity as yoga binds everyone together. “It is a day of universal brotherhood.”
“The theme of International Day of Yoga this year is ‘Yoga at home, Yoga with family’. Today, we will stay away from all social gatherings and do yoga with our family. When family members come together in practicing the yoga, it spreads energy in the entire house,” said PM Modi.
Every year, June 21 is recognised as International Yoga Day ever since the first Yoga Day celebration was held six years ago at Rajpath in New Delhi, where PM Modi and other dignitaries performed around 21 yoga asanas and created two Guinness World Records. The first record was for being the world’s largest yoga class with 35,985 people and the second one was for having the maximum number of participating nationalities, which is 84.
Today, urging people to include pranayam in their daily routine, the Prime Minister said,
“The world is taking the need to practice yoga more seriously in the wake of Covid-19. Yoga has many asanas to boost our immunity. These asanas strengthens our muscles and metabolism. Coronavirus attacks our respiratory system, and pranayam (breathing exercise) is the best exercise to keep ourselves safe”.
“Yoga enhances our quest for a healthier planet. It does not discriminate, goes beyond colour, race, faith and nations. Anyone can embrace yoga – all you need is some time and space,” PM Modi said.
He ended the address with Sankrit verse: Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (may all beings be happy and free).
For the first time since June 21, 2015, Yoga Day is being celebrated digitally. This year’s theme is ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’.
Months after PM Modi had proposed the idea, the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014 had declared June 21 as ‘International Day 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 well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature”, he had told the world back then.
India is in the grip of COVID-19 outbreaks in many part and PM Modi in his video message urged people to observe the day from the confines of their homes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the United Nations’theme for the International Yoga Day 2020 is “Yoga for Health – Yoga at Home”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) mentions yoga as a means to improve health in its Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030: More active people for a healthier world.