Last December, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. Across the globe, yoga teachers and students will be coming together on this day to celebrate this new annual event. Locally, it will be celebrated at the Sylvan Theater on the National Mall from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Following yoga, there will be cultural events, sponsored by the Embassy of India.
The U.N. declaration came after the call for the adoption of June 21 as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to U.N. General Assembly last September. He noted: “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.” During International Yoga Day, there will be a special televised message from PM Modi and videos instruction demos and Indian dances. Yoga teachers from local studios will serve as volunteers to assist as well.
June 21 is also the summer solstice, which has special meaning to the yoga community. According to yogi and mystic, Sadhguru: “On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi [the first yogi] turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world.” This is a fitting date for this new global tradition.
Location: Washington Memorial Driveway, SW. For more information, visit IDayOfYoga.org.